Echinoderms possess unique connective tissues, called mutable collagenous tissues (MCTs), which undergo nervously mediated, drastic and reversible or irreversible changes in their mechanical properties. Connective tissue mutability influences all aspects of echinoderm biology and is a key-factor in the ecological success of the phylum. Due to their sensitivity to endogenous or exogenous agents, MCTs may be targets for a number of common pollutants, with potentially drastic effects on vital functions. Besides its ecological relevance, MCT represents a topic with relevance to several applied fields. A promising research route looks at MCTs as a source of inspiration for the development of novel biomaterials. This contribution presents a review of MCT biology, which incorporates recent ultrastructural, biomolecular and biochemical analyses carried out in a biotechnological context.
- marine ecology;
- connective tissue
- mutable collagenous tissues
Barbaglio, A., Tricarico, S., Ribeiro, A., Ribeiro, C., Sugni, M., Di Benedetto, C., Wilkie, I., Barbosa, M., Bonasoro, F., & Candia Carnevali, M. D. (2012). The mechanically adaptive connective tissue of echinoderms: its potential for bio-innovation in applied technology and ecology. Marine Environmental Research, 76, 108-113. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marenvres.2011.07.006