Elastins And Meat Ligaments

Elastin and collagen are the principal components of connective tissue. They form a network that is responsible for the transmission of tension and the structure of muscle and other tissues. Elastin forms a lesser proportion of connective tissue than collagen and is not soluble during heating. The ratio of collagen to elastin in connective tissue is dependent on the tissue and its location. This ratio affects the tissue's mechanical properties and its physiological functions (1). Elastin is present in muscle only in small amounts, less than 3% of the total connective tissue. Mus-culus semitendinosus, however, contains more elastin, up to 37% of the total connective tissue. Elastin normally forms fibers and lamellae, is abundant in elastic ligaments, and elastic blood vessels, and is found to a small extent in the skin, lungs, and other organs.

Elastic tissue is often referred to as yellow connective tissue because of its color. It contains the elastin fibers with filamentous, refractive, and fluorescent with a blue-white appearance under ultraviolet light. Because of the large number of nonpolar amino acids in the structure and their hydrophobic nature, the elastin fibers stain poorly with acid or basic dyes but do stain selectively with phenolic dyes such as orcein.

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