DAVID M. PHILLIPS / THE POPULATION COUNCIL / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DAVID M. PHILLIPS / THE POPULATION COUNCIL / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Intestinal microvilli. Coloured transmission electron micrograph (TEM) of microvilli (finger- like projections) on the lining of the small intestine. Numerous microvilli project from the surface of the columnar epithelial cells (brown) that line the intestine. The cells secrete enzymes and aid in the absorption of nutrients from the intestine into the blood by providing a large surface area. Each microvillus contains 40-50 microfilaments, which run through the cytoplasm. The microfilaments contain the contractile protein actin, which suggests a primitive mobility. Magnification: x28,800 when printed 10cm wide.
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