THOMAS DEERINCK, NCMIR / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY THOMAS DEERINCK, NCMIR / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Intestinal epithelial cell. Coloured transmission electron micrograph (TEM) of the top of an intestinal epithelial cell, showing microvilli, tiny projections of the cell's apical membrane. The microvilli greatly increase the membrane surface area for absorption of nutrients during digestion. They also facilitate certain secretory activities. There may be 10,000 microvilli per cell, forming the so-called 'brush border' of the epithelium. Each microvillus is stabilized by a core of actin filaments anchored into a web of intermediate filaments located just below the microvilli. Part of the cell nucleus (red) is at lower centre). Magnification: x8200 when printed at 10 centimetres across.
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