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In biology, tissue is a historically derived biological organizational level between cells and a complete organ. A tissue is therefore often thought of as an assembly of similar cells and their extracellular matrix from the same embryonic origin that together carry out a specific function. Organs are then formed by the functional grouping together of multiple tissues.
Biological organisms follow this hierarchy:
Cells < Tissue < Organ < Organ System < Organism
The English word "tissue" derives from the French word "tissu", the past participle of the verb tisser, "to weave".
The study of tissues is known as histology or, in connection with disease, as histopathology. Xavier Bichat is considered as the "Father of Histology". Plant histology is studied in both plant anatomy and physiology. The classical tools for studying tissues are the paraffin block in which tissue is embedded and then sectioned, the histological stain, and the optical microscope. Developments in electron microscopy, immunofluorescence, and the use of frozen tissue-sections have enhanced the detail that can be observed in tissues. With these tools, the classical appearances of tissues can be examined in health and disease, enabling considerable refinement of medical diagnosis and prognosis.
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