Medical Terms for Connective Tissues

Medical Terms for Connective Tissues
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  • 0:01 Connective Tissue
  • 0:47 Loose/Areolar
  • 1:26 Adipose
  • 2:14 Dense/Fibrous
  • 2:50 Bone and Cartilage
  • 3:44 Blood and Hematopoietic
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Adrianne Baron

Adrianne has taught high school and college biology and has a master's degree in cancer biology.

This lesson will discuss the medical terms for the seven different types of connective tissues. It will also discuss their structures, locations, and functions within the body.

Connective Tissue

What do you think of when you hear the word 'tissue'? Your first thoughts are likely of the tissue you use to blow your nose or wipe 'the other end.' But there is another type of tissue, which is the tissue in your body.

In fact, there are many different tissues in your body. Some tissues are allowing you to hear or see this lesson, and others are there to give your body its shape. Still other tissues are present just to hold your body together. In this video lesson, we're going to look at different types of connective tissue in the body.

Connective tissue, as its name suggests, is the tissue that connects everything in the body in one way or another. There are seven types of connective tissue. Let's look at those now.

Loose / Areolar

The first type of connective tissue is loose or areolar connective tissue. You will see these names used interchangeably to refer to this tissue type. It is classified as loose because the cells and fibers that make it up have a very open arrangement. There's a lot of space and semi-liquid fluid with fibers between the cells in this tissue.

Areolar tissue functions to connect the skin to the underlying organs of the body and connect internal organs to each other. Considering its function, it is found under most surfaces of the skin and between all internal organs.


Another kind of loose tissue that most people are very aware of but may not know the name of is adipose tissue. Any time you are trying to lose weight, you are battling this tissue; it's what most people commonly refer to as fat. Now you know what tissue I'm referring to!

You probably already know some places where we have this type of tissue. The most notorious place for adipose is around the abdominal muscles. In actuality, it is found everywhere under the skin, around the heart and kidneys, between muscles, and behind the eyes. Adipose tissue is there to provide insulation to keep our body temperatures stable, nutrients for other tissues in the body, and protection for internal body organs.

Dense / Fibrous

If you are athletic or a sports enthusiast, then you have likely heard of this next tissue. It makes up tendons and ligaments, which are parts of the body that you may have hurt while playing sports or working out.

This type of tissue is known as dense or fibrous connective tissue. It's considered dense because it is made up of tightly packed fibers. Dense connective tissue functions to connect muscles to bone, connect bone to bone, and combine muscle fibers together. It is very strong, yet flexible.

Bone and Cartilage

I'm sure you know that your skeleton is made of bone, which is another type of connective tissue. Bone is hard tissue because it contains large amounts of calcium. Bone tissue functions to protect the internal organs, support the body, and provide a framework for the body.

Cartilage is another type of connective tissue that functions together with bone. It is firm but not as hard and rigid as bone. It functions to provide structural models for later bone development, protect and cushion other tissues of the body, and give the framework for some structures of the body, such as the nose and vertebral column.

Cartilage is found in various areas in the body including the nose, between the rings of the respiratory system and vertebral column, the external part of the ear, and in joints.

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