Small intestine villus, TEM

Small intestine villus, TEM

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Credit: DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Small intestine villus, coloured transmission electron micrograph (TEM). Columnar epithelial cells are in the periphery with microvilli at tips. Goblet cells are in the infoldings of the columnar epithelial cells. The central region of the villus is the lamina propia mucosa. Various connective cells with capillaries are nearby. The small intestine is the part of the gastrointestinal tract between the stomach and the large intestine. It is where most of the digestion and absorption of food takes place, via the villi, which increase its surface area. The villi have an outer epithelial cell layer (columnar epithelial cells) that possess many tiny microvilli. Microvilli are tiny finger-like projections, which increase the surface area available for absorption of nutrients such as lipids, proteins and fat-soluble vitamins. The microvilli have a rapid turnover of 3-4 days. Magnification: x265 when shortest axis printed at 25 millimetres.

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