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Tissues and Organs

By

Alexandra Villa-Forte

, MD, MPH, Cleveland Clinic

Last full review/revision Apr 2022
CLICK HERE FOR THE PROFESSIONAL VERSION
Topic Resources

Tissues are related cells Cells Cells are the basic building blocks of the body. All tissues and organs are made of billions of different cells. Human cells vary in size, but all are quite small. Even the largest, a fertilized... read more Cells that are joined together. The cells in a tissue are not identical, but they work together to accomplish specific functions. For example, muscle tissue has muscle cells, which contract to make the muscle move. Muscle tissue also has nerve cells, which send signals to tell the muscle when to contract and relax. A sample of tissue removed for examination under a microscope (biopsy) contains many types of cells, even though a doctor may be interested in only one specific type.

Connective tissue is the tough, often fibrous tissue that binds the body's structures together and provides support and elasticity. It is present in almost every organ, forming a large part of skin, tendons, joints, ligaments, blood vessels, and muscles. The characteristics of connective tissue and the types of cells it contains vary, depending on where it is found in the body.

Inside the Torso

Inside the Torso

Organs are the body's recognizable structures (for example, the heart, lungs, liver, eyes, and stomach) that perform specific functions. An organ is made of several types of tissue and therefore several types of cells Cells Cells are the basic building blocks of the body. All tissues and organs are made of billions of different cells. Human cells vary in size, but all are quite small. Even the largest, a fertilized... read more Cells . For example, the heart Biology of the Heart The heart and blood vessels constitute the cardiovascular (circulatory) system. The heart pumps the blood to the lungs so it can pick up oxygen and then pumps oxygen-rich blood to the body.... read more contains muscle tissue that contracts to pump blood, fibrous tissue that makes up the heart valves, and special cells that maintain the rate and rhythm of heartbeats. The eye Structure and Function of the Eyes The structures and functions of the eyes are complex. Each eye constantly adjusts the amount of light it lets in, focuses on objects near and far, and produces continuous images that are instantly... read more contains muscle cells that open and close the pupil, clear cells that make up the lens and cornea, cells that produce the fluid within the eye, cells that sense light, and nerve cells that conduct impulses to the brain.

Even an organ as apparently simple as the gallbladder Gallbladder and Biliary Tract The gallbladder is a small, pear-shaped, muscular storage sac that holds bile and is interconnected to the liver by ducts known as the biliary tract. (See also Overview of the Liver and Gallbladder... read more Gallbladder and Biliary Tract contains different types of cells, such as those that form a lining resistant to the irritative effects of bile, muscle cells that contract to expel bile, and cells that form the fibrous outer wall holding the sac together.

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