Connective tissues function primarily to support the body and to bind or connect together all types of tissue. This tissue also provide a mechanical framework (the skeleton) which plays an important role in locomotion. Unlike epithelial tissue, connective tissue is characterised by the large amounts of intercellular substance (also called ground substance or the matrix) that it contains.
Connective tissue are relatively few cells which are widely seperated from each other. These living cells are responsible for secreting the large amounts of intercellular ground substance (matrix). The matrix is a non-living material which may be liquid (eg. blood), semi-solid (eg. connective tissue) or solid (eg. bone). Embedded in the matrix are a variety of connecting and supporting fibres, eg. collagen fibres and elastic fibres.
Classification of the basic connective tissue depends on the predominant fibre type present in each. Connective tissue can be divided into four main types.
| connective tissue index | cartilage | bone | blood |