That expanded definition usually does not include the harder tissues – cartilage and bone – but there is an argument that both these tissues lie within the spectrum of ‘fascial’ tissues. These structural elements form from the same mesodermal primordium, develop in similar ways, have a core leather-like matrix of collagen, and are as responsive – subject to Wolffe’s Law of remodeling – to sustained forces going through the body as is the rest of the fascia.
Most researchers would draw the line at soft-tissues, putting bone and cartilage into the hard tissue category, but we prefer the wider view: From the fibrin in blood to the coral structure of bone, we have a remarkable variety of building materials available to us based on alterations of the fibers, gels, and water content of the ECM.
You would need a large shopping cart to purchase all the materials you would need to make a body, but connective tissue manages to build all of them – strings, wires, elastics, sheets, sacs, insulating material, bushings, struts, and springs – your connective tissue cells wrestle all of these from three simple elements: water, gels, and fibers. The cornea of your eye, the enamel covering your teeth, and the valves of your heart are just three of an extraordinary array of connective tissues on display and at work in your body.