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Structure, Location, Histology and Function

Areolar Tissue

Loose connective tissue found beneath the dermis layer and under the epithelial tissue of all the body systems that have external openings. It is also a component of the digestive and respiratory tracts, the mucous membranes of reproductive and urinary systems, the stroma of glands, and the hypodermis of the skin. Function: holds organs in place and attaches epithelial tissue to underlying tissues, provides nutrients and wate removal for surrounding tissues.

Reticular Tissue

Loose connective tissue of thin branching fibers located in the lymphs nodes, spleen, thymus and bone marrow. Functions: supportive framework (stroma-bed).

Dense Regular Connective Tissue

Longitudinal arrangement of bundles of elastic fibers form strong, rope-like structures -- tendons and ligaments. Tendons connect muscle to bone and ligaments connect bone to bone at joints.

Dense Irregular Connective Tissue

Has fibers that are arranged in sheets that make up the lower layers of the skin (dermis), is in the protective white layer of the eyeball, makes up submucosa, fibrous capsules, and some types of fascia, periosteum (outer layer of bone) and perichondrium (surrounds cartiledge of developing bone). Function: protection - durable, hard to tear.

Adipose Tissue

Soap-bubble appearance, is a loose fibrous connective tissue that is packed with many fat cells found under the skin, around the heart and kidneys, yellow marrow of the long bones, padding around the joints and eyes. Function: insulate to reduce heat loss, protection and support of major organs (kidneys), energy storage.

Hyaline Cartilage

A slimy mass of a firm consistency, but of considerable elasticity and pearly bluish color. Found in the tip of the nose, the external ear, walls of the trachea and larynx, in the connection between the ribs and the breastbone and the ends of bone where they form joints. Function: provides tough, elastic and flexible support and reduce joint friction.

Elastic Cartilage

Similar to hyaline cartilage, but in addition to the collagenous fibres, it contains a network of branched yellow elastic fibres that run in all directions. This type of cartilage is found in the lobe of the ear, the epiglottis and in parts of the larynx. Function: provide support and maintain shape -forms much of the fetal skeleton, eases joint movements, holds airway open during repiration, moves vocal cords during speech.

Fibrocartilage

Consists of chondrocytes scattered among clearly visible dense bundles of collagen fibres. Found in the pubic symphysis, intervertebral discs, menisci (pads in the knee joint), and at the site of a healing fracture. Function: provides support and rigidity to attached/surrounding structures - is the strongest of the three types of cartilage.

Bone

Bones shape, support, and protect body structures. They also aid body movements, house tissues that produce blood cells, and store various inorganic salts.

Blood

55% plasma and 45% blood cells located in the heart and blood vessels of the circulatory system. Function: transport gases, nutrients, waste, chemical signals, and heat around body; provides defensive leukocytes; contains clotting agents to minimize bleeding; platelets secrete growth factors that promote tissue maintenance and repair

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