TISSUEPIX / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY TISSUEPIX / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Small intestine. Light micrograph of a section through the small intestine. The finger-like projections at left are the villi. These increase the surface area for the absorption of food. Within the columnar epithelium of their outer surface are goblet cells (magenta), which secrete mucus to lubricate food and prevent self-digestion. The core of each villus contains connective tissue, blood vessels and smooth muscle.
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