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Dense irregular connective tissue

Recommended video: Dense connective tissue [12:45]
Overview of dense connective tissue.

Dense irregular connective tissue is a type of dense connective tissue found widely dispersed throughout the body, particularly in areas where tension is applied from multiple different directions. It contains a high proportion of type I collagen fibers which, unlike in dense regular connective tissue, are randomly organized, forming an interwoven 3-dimensional web. This random organization of the collagen fibers grants high tensile strength and the ability to resist the effects of forces that pull in multiple directions. The matrix is otherwise relatively acellular, however does contain few active fibroblasts, elastin fibers and some ground substance.

A good example of this connective tissue type is the reticular layer of the dermis, with its ability to resist stretching forces applied to the skin. Other examples where it is located include: the submucosa within hollow organs, the fibrous capsules covering joints and various organs and the connective tissue sheaths covering muscles and nerves.

Structure Randomly organized thick collagen bands, forming a 3-D web. 
Composition High proportion of type I collagen, few fibroblasts, some elastin fibers and ground substance
Location Skin (dermis), hollow organs (submucosa), fibrous capsules covering various organs, joints, muscles & nerves. 
Function Support organs by resisting tearing from multiple directions

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