STEVE GSCHMEISSNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY STEVE GSCHMEISSNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Intestinal villus. Coloured light micrograph of a section through the gut showing the structure of a villus. Villi are the finger-like projections that make up the deeply folded gut lining. This structure increases the surface area and absorptive capacity of the gut. The villi are covered in columnal epithelial cells (grey), which are interspersed by goblet cells (yellow). The secretions of the goblet cells protect and lubricate the gut and help in the formation of faeces. Beneath the goblet cells are enterocytes (blue), which absorb the nutrients from digestion. The underlying layer (bottom) also contains connective tissue (green), which supports the structure of the villi.
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