Small intestine villus, SEM

Small intestine villus, SEM

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Credit: STEVE GSCHMEISSNER/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Small intestine villus. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of a freeze fracture section through a villus from the mucosal lining of the small intestine. Villi are finger-like projections that increase the surface area of a structure. Microvilli, just visible across upper centre, further increase the surface area available for food absorption. The outer surface of a villus is mostly columnar epithelium (red). It contains numerous goblet cells (dark pink), which secrete mucus to lubricate food & prevent self-digestion. Within the goblet cells individual mucin granules are seen. Magnification: x2000 at 6x7cm size.

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Keywords: absorption, absorptive, alimentary canal, anatomy, cells, coloured, columnar, digestion, digestive system, enterocyte, enterocytes, epithelial, epithelium, fractured, freeze fracture, goblet cell, gut, healthy, histology, human body, intestinal, lining, membrane, microvilli, mucin granules, mucosa, mucous, mucus, normal, scanning electron micrograph, secretory, sem, small intestine, surface, tissue, villi, villus

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