GASTROLAB / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY GASTROLAB / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Peristalsis in the stomach. Endoscopic view of a circular smooth muscle in the stomach contracting during a peristaltic wave. Peristalsis is the rhythmic contraction of smooth muscles that pushes digested or semi-digested food along the gut. First circular smooth muscles contract to prevent the material from going the wrong way. Then longitudinal smooth muscles contract to push the food forward. This image comes from a capsule endoscope, a pill-sized camera with light source, which is swallowed and transmits images as it passes through the digestive tract.
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