THOMAS DEERINCK, NCMIR / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY THOMAS DEERINCK, NCMIR / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Microvilli in the small intestine, coloured freeze-fracture scanning electron micrograph (SEM). The microvilli (across upper centre) are tiny finger-like projections from the cells lining the interior wall of the small intestine. In this fracture view, the interiors of the underlying cells are also seen. The lining of the small intestine is thrown into numerous small folds called villi, which increase the surface area available for the absorption of nutrients from food. The microvilli on each cell increase this surface area yet further, making absorption highly efficient. Magnification: x2800 when printed 10cm wide.
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