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Small intestine villi. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of villi (brown) on the lining of the small intestine. Villi greatly increase the surface area for the absorption of nutrients from food. Several of the villi have been partially broken, revealing their internal structure. The villus epithelium (outer layer) contains enterocytes (brown, columnar cells), which are involved in nutrient absorption. Scattered amongst these are goblet cells (blue), which secrete mucus onto the intestinal surface. The inner villus tissue (yellow/grey) contains blood vessels which transport digestive products to a nearby vein. Magnification: x62 at 6x7cm size.
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