STEVE GSCHMEISSNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY STEVE GSCHMEISSNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Bile duct. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of a cross-section through a bile duct. The bile ducts transport bile, produced by the liver, to the gall bladder and on to the small intestine where it aids the digestion of fat. The lumen (interior) of the bile duct is lined with columnar epithelium cells (yellow). These have microvilli, finger-like projections that increase the surface area of the epithelial cells, on their surface. This allows the cells to reabsorb more water and small molecules from the bile. Surrounding the epithelium is connective tissue, which provides structural support and blood to the epithelium. Magnification: x90 when printed at 10 centimetres wide.
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