Connective Tissue

Connective tissue binds, supports, and protects structures in the body. Connective tissues are the most abundant and diverse of the four types of tissue, and include bone, cartilage, tendons, fat, and blood. These tissues are characterized by cells that are embedded in large amounts of an intercellular substance called matrix. Matrix can be solid, semisolid, or liquid. Bone cells are surrounded by a hard, crystalline matrix containing calcium. The cells in cartilage, tendons, and fat are surrounded by a semisolid fibrous matrix. Blood cells are suspended in a liquid matrix. Figure 45-1d shows an illustration of cells of connective tissue.

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