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Connective Tissue
Connective Tissue

Connective Tissue

Textus connectivus

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Description

Connective tissue is composed of an extracellular matrix (fibers, ground substance, and cells). The properties of each connective tissue are designated by the ratio of these components.

Connective tissue plays many essential roles, namely in conferring stability, aiding in defense, and in organization and differentiation of surrounding tissue. Structurally, it is divided into general connective tissue, special skeletal connective tissue (bone, cartilage, ligaments, etc.), and hemolymphoid tissue (Standring, 2016).

Within the skeletal system, several types of connective tissue are found including bone, ligaments, tendons, fascia, bursae, cartilage, and fat pads.

—Bone is described in a separate system, the skeletal system.

—Ligaments connect bone to bone and are composed of bands of dense collagenous tissue.

—Tendons are similar in structure to ligaments but connect muscle to bone.

—Fascia surrounds much of the structures of the musculoskeletal system, for example the fascia lata of the thigh or the crural fascia of the leg.

—Bursae are fluid-filled cushioning structures, often located between a prominence of a bone and a muscle or other fibrous connective tissues around joints. They aid movement by preventing friction.

—Cartilage, a semi-rigid, resilient tissue that may be found along the articular surfaces of the bones or as separate structures, such as the fibrocartilaginous menisci found in the knee joint.

—Adipose tissue may be found in certain regions, such as the subcutaneous tissue, mesenteries, and around certain organs (e.g., behind the kidneys and eyeballs). These fat deposits play a role in thermal insulation, absorbing shock, and act as an energy store.

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References

Standring, S. (2016) Gray's Anatomy: The Anatomical Basis of Clinical Practice. Gray's Anatomy Series: Elsevier Limited.

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