27.5: Elastin is Responsible for Tissue Elasticity
Elastic fiber contains the protein elastin along with lesser amounts of other proteins and glycoproteins. The main property of elastin is that it will return to its original shape after being stretched or compressed. Elastic fibers are prominent in elastic tissues found in skin and the elastic ligaments of the vertebral column.
Ligaments and tendons are made of dense regular connective tissue, but in ligaments not all fibers are parallel. Dense regular elastic tissue contains elastin fibers and collagen fibers, allowing the ligament to return to its original length after stretching. The ligaments in the vocal folds and between the vertebrae in the vertebral column are elastic. Dense irregular elastic tissues give arterial walls the strength and the ability to regain original shape after stretching
While older adults are at risk for tendinitis because the elasticity of tendon tissue decreases with age, active people of all ages can develop tendinitis. Young athletes, dancers, and computer operators; anyone who performs the same movements constantly is at risk for tendinitis.
Elastic cartilage contains elastic fibers as well as collagen and proteoglycans. This tissue gives rigid support as well as elasticity. Tug gently at your ear lobes, and notice that the lobes return to their initial shape. The external ear contains elastic cartilage.
This text is adapted from Openstax, Anatomy and physiology 2e, Section 4.3: Connective tissue supports and protects.