Villiare small finger-like projections found in the small intestine. They aid the absorption of soluble food molecules in the digestive system.

Role in the small intestineEdit

Villi significantly increase the rate of diffusion of soluble food molecules in the small intestine through a variety of means:

  • They are folded to provide a large surface area over which diffusion can take place. They additionally have microvilli to further increase the surface area for diffusion.
  • They have a large, constant blood supply to maintain a steep concentration gradient.
  • Their walls are only one cell thick to provide a short diffusion path.

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