Villi, Structures within the Gut (image) Harvard University Caption Villi, fingerlike structures on the inside wall of the gut, are crucial in the uptake of nutrients from food by effectively increasing the absorptive surface area. Credit Images courtesy of L. Mahadevan and Science/AAAS. Usage Restrictions None Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.