Intestinal villi, illustration

Intestinal villi, illustration

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Credit: KATERYNA KON/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Intestinal villi, light micrograph and 3D computer illustration. Villi are finger-like projections that greatly increase the intestinal surface area for the absorption of nutrients from food. The epithelium (outer layer, folded) of each villus contains enterocyte cells, which are involved in nutrient absorption, and goblet cells, which secrete mucus onto the intestinal surface. The inner villus tissue (not seen) contains blood vessels which transport digestive products to a nearby vein.

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