Compare and contrast the characteristics of the ideal tissue forming the outer surface

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Compare and contrast the characteristics of the ideal tissue forming the outer surface of the body with that forming the lining of the small intestine. How are they similar and different? What tissues fulfill these needs?

Both the skin and lining of the small intestine are made up of epithelial tissue. Specifically, membranous epithelium which forms covering and linings (Patton, Thibodeau, & Douglas, 2012). Epithelial tissue can serve several important functions in the body. In the skin, epithelial tissue protects from harmful elements in our environment and damage due to abrasion or other mechanical insult (Patton et al., 2012). In the lining of the intestine, besides providing protection, the epithelial tissue provides absorption. Another difference is the classification of the cell’s layer and shape. The cells in the skin are classified as Stratified squamous, keratinized and the cells in the lining of the intestine are classified as simple columnar.

If a bone is broken, it will heal in several months. If cartilage is broken, it generally never heals. If epithelium is cut, it heals in a week or so. Why is there such a difference in the healing rates of these tissues?

When tissues are damaged, they undergo regeneration. Regeneration means that Phagocytic cells removed dead or injured cells, while other cells divide and begin to repair wound (Patton et al., 2012). Many external factors can affect the regeneration of cells. A person’s age and health status can affect how the body handles an injury. Also, the size of the injury affects the length of recovery. In the case of the broken bone and the epithelium cut, both injuries will undergo regeneration. Albeit the time to heal will be different. A small paper cut will heal faster than a broken bone due to the complexity of the injury. For example, a small paper cut would require reepithelialization by migration of keratinocytes from below the wound and at the wound edge (Stroncek & Reichert, 2008). Due to the lack of blood vessels, cartilage heals very slowly or not at all (Mandal, 2017).


Mandal, A. (2017, June 20). What is Cartilage? News Medical Life Sciences. Retrieved from

Patton, K., Thibodeau, G., & Douglas, M. (2012). Essentials of Anatomy & Physiology. Missouri: Elsevier Mosby

Stroncek, J., & Reichert, W. (2008). Overview of Wound Healing in Different Tissue Types. In W. Reichert (Ed.), Indwelling Neural Implants: Strategies for Contending with the In Vivo Environment. Boca Raton: CRC Press/Taylor & Francis. Retrieved from

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