Types of Tissue

an evaluation of the form-to-function relationship

Epithelial Tissue (Ciliated Pseudostratified Columnar Cells)

In the picture below it isn't exactly easy to see how the form-to-function relationship exists in this tissue. But it is present! These tissues are found in the trachea and other pulmonary passages (as well as the fallopian tubes of females). The cilia allow for movement of the mucus (which is secreted by the scattered goblet cells) away from the lungs so as to prevent any of the particles or bacteria that got caught in it from reaching the lungs. This is important in preventing bacterial infection as well as particles getting caught in the lungs.

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Connective Tissue (Fibrocartilage)

The form-to-function relationship that exists in fibrocartilage is just as obvious as with other tissue types though images of it suggest otherwise. The one thing that sets it apart from other types of cartilage, and makes it more efficient at its job, is its dense web of elastic fibers. Like other types of cartilage, it serves the purpose of being protective and resilient while also being somewhat flexible. Fibrocartilage is found in intervertebral discs of the spine and it serves as a protector and shock-absorber to lessen any damage or force the spine might take. Its dense fibrous structure allows it to do this.
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Muscle Tissue (Smooth)

Smooth muscle is an involuntarily controlled muscle tissue that lines certain organs (focusing on the small intestine). They control the travel of food through the body. Your brain tells these muscles how to expand and contract to carry food to the proper place and help break it down without having to think about it. The form-to-function relation between muscle fibers and their job is obvious. They are able to contract and apply pressure in the right place to allow for the right movement of nutrients through the body with their rhythmic contractions.
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Nervous Tissue (Neurons)

Neurons are the specialized cells that make up nervous tissue. The function of these cells is to carry electrical symbols from the brain to the rest of the body. Their form (spindly fibers that are far reaching) allow for quick and efficient travel of signals throughout the body. They have an incredibly efficient and fine-tuned form-to-function relationship. One could argue that it is the best and most advanced cell to carry out this function. Since there is virtually no error in the design and layout of these cells, it is hard to imagine any other shape being as efficient. Their long dendrites and axons allow for long distance physical travel of signals and their synaptic membranes allow for uninterrupted jumps of signals between cells.
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