Connective tissue is composed of sparse populations of cells scattered through an extracellular matrix.

Loose connective tissue: elastic collagen fibers bind epithelia to underlying tissues.

Cartilage: the rubbery chondroitin sulfate provides flexible support in joints.

Fibrous connective tissue: collagen fibers give strength to tendons (attach muscles to bones) and ligaments (connect bones to bones at joints).

Adipose tissue: stores fat as fuel in fat droplets and provides insulation.

Bone: made of collagen and minerals; a central canal in each osteon carries blood vessels and nerves.

Blood: a liquid matrix of plasma carries erythrocytes (RBC), leukocytes (WBC).