STEVE GSCHMEISSNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY STEVE GSCHMEISSNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Small intestine. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) showing the villi of the small intestine. Food particles are coloured green. Villi are finger-like projections from the intestinal wall which greatly increase the absorptive surface of this part of the digestive system. The villi's epithelium (lining) contains cells involved in the digestion and absorption of food. The villi also secrete mucus to aid the movement of food through the intestines. The small intestine is around 4 metres long, providing a large surface area for effective food absorption. Magnification unknown.
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