STEVE GSCHMEISSNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY STEVE GSCHMEISSNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Large intestine. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of the wall of the large intestine (colon) showing the microvilli. The hair-like microvilli (blue) are projections on the surface of columnar absorptive cells. Food debris (red) can also be seen. The microvilli provide a large surface area in the colon to absorb water and any remaining nutrients from the already digested food. Globules of mucus (light green) cover the goblet cells which produce them. The mucus acts as a lubricant, assisting faecal movement and protecting the wall of the colon from mechanical damage. Magnification unknown.
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