Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Phagocytosis

Process by which a specialized cell ingests a substance by engulfing it using extensions of its protoplasm in a process called endocytosis. Following uptake, the substance is enclosed in a cytoplasmic vesicle where it is digested. Phagocytosis functions in both a nutritive and a defensive role.

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From "Dictionary of Nursing and Individual Health Care"