Section VI. FIBROUS CONNECTIVE TISSUE
Tissues that generally support the body parts in various ways are known as the
connective tissues (CT).
a. All of these connective tissues are characterized by having the major
substance outside of the cell but formed by the cell. This extra-cellular material is called
b. One type of CT is called the fibrous connective tissue (FCT). In FCT, the cell
known as the fibroblast forms a long narrow thread-like structure known as the fiber.
During the life of the individual, the fibroblast actually moves up and down the fiber.
During this movement, it keeps the fiber in repair and restructures it in response to the
stresses applied to the body.
2-24. TYPES OF FIBROUS CONNECTIVE TISSUE FIBERS
Two types of fibers are formed--the collagen or white fibers and the elastic or
yellow fibers. The collagen fibers are limited in stretchability, particularly when
compared to the elastic fibers.
2-25. FIBROUS CONNECTIVE TISSUES
The fibers of the FCT are variously organized to perform particular functions.
a. Loose Areolar Fibrous Connective Tissue. In some locations, the fibers
are loosely arranged with spaces between them. This tissue serves as filler material in
the spaces between the organs. This loose areolar FCT is also found between the skin
and the underlying structures of the body. Thus, the skin is able to move more or less
freely over the surface of these structures.
b. Dense Fibrous Connective Tissue. The fibers of dense FCT are closely
packed and more or less parallel. As membranes, dense FCT envelops areas or
structures of the body (as in capsules around organs). Other examples of dense FCT
are ligaments and tendons. A ligament is a band of dense FCT that holds the bones
together at a joint. A tendon attaches a muscle to a bone.
2-26. LENGTH AND TENSION
As a collagen fiber is increased in length, the tension (resistance to stretch)
increases considerably. This can be shown by a length-tension (L-T) curve diagram,
similar to the one in Figure 2-4.