SUSUMU NISHINAGA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SUSUMU NISHINAGA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Small intestine villi. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of villi (folds) on the lining of the small intestine. Villi greatly increase the intestinal surface area for absorbing 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. Magnification: x21 at 6x7cm size.
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