Anatomy And Physiology

Anatomy Physiology



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There are many different types of connective tissue, and most play a pivotal role in the skeletal system.  The type of materials that are composed of connective tissue range from bone to cartilage and even blood is considered a connective tissue.  One of the most notable characteristics of connective tissue is that in all cases, connective tissue forms a complex extracellular matrix.  In other words, the tissue itself is much more than just the collection of closely packed cells.

Obviously when talking about the skeletal system, the first thing that comes to mind is bones.  In human beings, bone tissue is responsible for supporting the weight of an individual and providing a base from which muscles can provide motion.  Bone tissue is mainly composed of calcium, which is continually deposited into a complex matrix that is very hard and durable.

There are three different types of connective tissue that all work closely with bones and the skeletal system.  The first of these are the ligaments which connect bone tissue to bone tissue.  The major function of ligaments is to maintain joints in the proper alignment.  In the more complex joints of the body like the knees, ankles and shoulder, many different ligaments are needed to maintain the proper alignment and range of motion necessary for the function of the joint.  Tendons are another type of connective tissue that join muscles to bone.  As muscles contract, the pull of the contraction causes the tendon to move the bone at the point of attachment.  Finally, cartilage is another type of connective tissue.  The major role of cartilage is to provide cushion between two bones.  Cartilage prevents bones from damaging each other during movement.

Finally, as mentioned, blood is a connective tissue that plays an important role in the integrity of the skeletal system.  While blood is important for delivering oxygen and nutrients to all cells in the body, it is especially important  with regards to the skeletal system.  Calcium is a mineral that is used throughout the body for many different functions including regulating blood pressure  and signaling in the nervous system.  Because of these important functions, calcium is constantly being removed from the bone and transported via the blood to the places it is needed.

Connective tissues are used throughout the skeletal system, including such obvious places such as bones and ligaments, but also including other tissues such as cartilage, tendons and even blood.  The major functions of the skeletal system are to support the body and allow for controlled movement.   Bones, held in proper alignment by ligaments and moved by the force of muscles acting through tendons allow these functions to be achieved.

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