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a sheet of cells that covers a body surface or lines a body cavity

apical surface

upper free surface exposed to the body exterior or the cavity of an internal organ

basal surface

surface exposed to the superficial surface of external organs and the deep surface of the epidermis


fingerlike extensions of the plasma surface


tiny hairlike projections that propel substances along their free surface

basal lamina

noncellular adhesive sheet made of glycoproteins that determines which molecules are allowed to enter the epithelium

reticular lamina

just deep of the basal lamina, belongs to connective tissue

basement membrane

reinforces epithelial sheet, resists stretching and tearing, defines epithelial boundary

simple epithelia

consists of a single cell layer, found where absorption, secretion, and filtration occur

stratified epithelia

consists of two or more cell layers, common in high abrasion areas where protection is important(skin, mouth lining)

squamous cells

flattened and scale-like cells

cuboidal cells

box-like cells

columnar cells

tall and column-shaped


simple squamous epithelia that provides slick, friction reducing lining in lymphatic vessels and in all hollow organs of the cardiovascular system


simple squamous epithelia found in serous membranes lining the ventral body cavity and covering its organs

simple squamous epithelium

this is found where filtration and the exchange of substances by diffusion is a priority, cells flattened laterally

simple cuboidal epithelium

the function of this is absorption and secretion, single layer of cells as tall as they are wide

simple columnar epithelium

lines the digestive tract from the stomach through the rectum, important for absorptions and secretion, single layer of tall, closely packed cells

stratified squamous epithelium

functions as a protective surface, cells are constantly being replaced by division of it's basal cells

connective tissue

functions as binding and support, protection, insulation, and transportation

ground substance

unstructured material that fills the space between the cells and contains the fibers

collagen fibers

extremely tough and provide high tensile strength, made from collagen protein

elastic fibers

found where elasticity is needed(skin, lungs, blood vessel walls), fibers stretch and recoil

reticular fibers

supports soft tissue of organs, allows more give than other collagen fibers


central actors in the immune system, phagocytize foreign material

loose areolar connective tissue

gel-like matrix with all three fiber types; cells: fibroblasts, macrophages, mast cells, white blood cells

adipose tissue

provides reserve food fuel; insulates against heat loss; supports and protects organs; found under skin in hypodermis, within abdomen, in breasts

brown adipose tissue

fat cells that use lipid fuels to heat the bloodstream to warm the body

dense regular connective tissue

poorly vascularized, makes up tendons and most ligaments

dense irregular connective tissue

found in the skin as the leathery dermis, made of thick collagen fibers arranged irregularly

elastic connective tissue

found in large arteries, allows recoil of tissue following stretching


has qualities between dense connective tissue and bone, is avascular, lacks nerve fibers

hyaline cartilage

supports and reinforces, has resilient cushioning properties, resists compressive stress

elastic cartilage

maintains the shape of a structure while allowing great flexibility


tensile strength with the ability to absorb compressive shock


supports and protects body structures, rigid, provides cavities for fat storage and blood synthesis


consists of cells in plasma, transports nutrients throughout the body

cardiac muscle tissue

short, branched, striated, single nucleas, connected by intercalated discs

skeletal muscle tissue

long, cylindrical, striated, multinucleate

smooth muscle tissue

short, spindle shaped, non-striated, single central nucleas

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