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Collagen Fiber

this is the strongest and most common connective fiber; it has tensile strength; its appearance is long, straight, and unbranched; examples: tendons and ligaments

reticular fiber

this fiber is tough and flexible; it contains the same proteins as collagen fibers but is thinner and branched; example: spleen and liver

Elastic fiber

This type of fiber contains the protein elastin, has branching,and is wavy; It can stretch to 150% its resting length and then recoil; example: inter connecting vertebrae

ground substance

the fluid that surrounds the fibrous components of connective tissue; this fluid is clear, colorless, and similar in consistancy to maple syrup in CT proper; contains hyaluronan and a mixture of various proteoglycans and glycoproteins


the first connective tissue to appear in the developing embryo; it contains star like cells that are separated by a matrix that contains very fine protein filaments; this gives rise to all other connective tissues

Mucous connective tissue

a loose connective tissue found in many parts of the embryo, including the umbilical cord.

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