Vast volumes of soft connective tissue, previously thought to be nothing more than a "layer" between major organs in the human body, may itself be a single huge organ. With yet unknown functions, researcher and pathologist Neil Taze discovered a fundamental flaw in previous work on connective tissue. And he proposed to investigate the newly discovered "interstitium" in new ways.
Taze looked at the connective tissue in a living body with a microcamera during a typical endoscopy procedure and discovered a huge hitherto unknown structure. It is a vast inter-organ space that has a cellular architecture of collagen bridges and is filled with fluid that flows through the interstitium. Formally, this mass fills the voids between the organs and acts as a damper, protection against external influences. But other previously unknown processes also take place in the interstitium.
When scientists studied connective tissue in previous years, they took fragments that quickly died outside the main organ. The liquid flowed out, the bridges collapsed - a loose mass was obtained, in which one could not see the former essence. Now Teise proposes to study the interstitium in a living state, which is more difficult, but no less important and interesting.
Scientists are motivated not only by the curiosity of the discoverer. For example, it has already been hypothesized that cancer cells can travel with fluid flows through the interstitium. This would explain why in some cases the rate of spread of cancerous foci is so high, and they appear where they are not expected at all. And if we take samples of interstitial fluid, it will be possible to detect cancer at the earliest stages.