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Surface Area and Diffusion

The small intestine is all about maximizing surface area. The immense amount of folding enables it to be very long meaning more surface area. The villi further increases surface area. They are projections that provide even more membrane surface area that food, while passing through the small intestine, will come in contact with. This contact with the membrane of the small intestine is how absorption occurs. Nutrients that are used in the body will diffuse across the intestinal membrane into the blood stream because the concentration will be high inside the intestine and low in the blood plasma. This difference in concentration is what "drives" diffusion across the membrane.

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2011-06-05 16:28:33
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