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Collagen fiber

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Definition

noun, plural: collagen fibers

A fiber in the extracellular matrix of connective tissues characterized by being elongated and made up of collagen glycoproteins


Supplement

Connective tissue is one of the major types of tissues in higher animals, including humans. One of the features of connective tissues is the presence of fibers. There are three major types of fibers associated with connective tissues: (1) collagen fibers, (2) elastic fibers, and reticular fibers.

Collagen fiber is a type of biological fiber that is characteristically white and composed of collagen. It is typically arranged in branching bundles of indefinite length. It is the most predominant type of connective tissue fiber. It is a strong insoluble fiber. It occurs in skin, tendon, ligaments, bone, cartilage, etc.

Collagen is a biomolecule produced by fibroblasts and forms the collagen fiber. The collagen, in turn, is an aggregate of tropocollagens. The tropocollagen is made up of three polypeptide strands (referred to as alpha peptides) that are twisted together into a super helix or a right-handed triple helix. The amino acids in each chain are arranged in a regular pattern. The typical pattern is Gly-Pro-X or Gly-X-Hyp (the X being any other amino acid residue).

There are various types of collagen (e.g. type I, type II, type III….). More than twenty collagen types have been described. In human body, the most predominant type, though, is type I collagen. It occurs in skin, tendon, bone, vasculature, and organs.


Variant(s):

  • collagen fibre (British)

Synonym(s):

  • white fiber

See also:

Related term(s):