Colour SEM of villi in the small intestine

Colour SEM of villi in the small intestine

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Caption: Intestinal villi. Coloured Scanning Electron Micrograph (SEM) of villi in the small intestine. Villi are folded projections of the mucous membrane that line the inside wall of the small intestine. They serve to increase the surface area available for absorption of the products of digestion. Covering each villus is a layer of absorptive epithelial cells, which themselves are covered with microvilli (not visible). The dark pits on the surface of each villus are goblet cells. These produce mucus to lubricate the passage of food and protect the intestinal wall from self-digestion. Magnification: x180 at 5x7cm size.

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Keywords: anatomy, digestion, digestive system, goblet cell, gut, human body, intestine, mucosa, small, small intestine, villus

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