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A thin layer of noncellular proteins and other noncellular material that is underneath the epithelium (the top layer of skin cells, also the innermost layer of cells in various vessels, the digestive and other tracts, etc.) and that the epithelium makes.

From the BioTech Dictionary at http://biotech.icmb.utexas.edu/. For further information see the BioTech homenode.

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