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Ground substance

Recommended video: Loose connective tissue [10:11]
Structure and cellular components of loose connective tissue.

Ground substance is a formless, jelly-like substance. It appears transparent and colorless and occupyies the gaps between fibers and cells. It is comprised of glycosaminoglycans that connect to create larger molecules known as proteoglycans. These molecules bind water allowing for the viscous nature of this substance. 

In most cells, ground substance is the largest single compartment. It has a complex three-dimensional structural network of thin microtrabecular strands and cross-linkers.

Ground substance also serves as the material in which all other connective tissue components are enclosed. It is the site of most physiological processes like protein synthesis, breakdown of nutrients and the movement of organelles.

Terms English: ground substance 
Synonyms: cytoplasmic matrix, cytosol 

Latin: Substantia fundamentalis
Function Site of physiological processes within the cell

Learn more about ground substance in this study unit:

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