Description: Consists of loose arrangement of fibers (collagen, elastic, and reticular) and several kinds of cells (fibroblasts, macrophages, plasma cells, adipocytes, mast cells, and a few white blood cells) embedded in a semifluid ground substance.
Location: One of the most widely distributed connective tissues in the body, it is found in the subcutaneous layer deep to skin; papillary (superficial) region of dermis of skin; lamina propria of mucous membranes; and around blood vessels, nerves, and body organs. Called the "universal packing material" of the body since it is found in and around nearly every structure of the body.
Function: Strength, elasticity, and support. Provide reservoir of water and salts. Defend against infection. Store nutrients as fat.
Description: Hyaline cartilage contains a resilient gel as its ground substance and appears in the body as a bluish‐white, shiny substance. Prominent chondrocytes are found in lacunae. Most hyaline cartilage is surrounded by a perichondrium. The exceptions are the articular cartilage in joints and the cartilage of epiphyseal plates, the regions where bones lengthen as a person grows.
Location: Most abundant cartilage in the body, it is found at the ends of long bones, anterior ends of ribs, nose, parts of larynx, trachea, bronchi, bronchial tubes, and embryonic and fetal skeleton.
Function: Provides smooth surfaces for movement at joints, as well as flexibility and support. It is the weakest of the three types of cartilage.
Cartilage, joints, and bones make up the skeletal system. The skeletal system supports soft tissues, protects delicate structures, and works with skeletal muscles to generate movement. Bones store calcium and phosphorus; house red bone marrow, which produces blood cells; and contain yellow bone marrow, a storage site for triglycerides. Bones are organs composed of several different connective tissues, including bone or osseous tissue, the periosteum, red and yellow bone marrow, and the endosteum (a membrane that lines a space within bone that stores yellow bone marrow). Bone tissue is classified as either compact or spongy, depending on how its extracellular matrix and cells are organized.