Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Any of a group of twelve or more major connective tissue proteins. The body deposits collagen in wounds as part of the healing process; it is one of the major structural components of normal skin, cartilage, membranes, arteries, etc. Collagen is a long, three-stranded protein that forms a triple helix; individual collagen fibers bundle together into rope-like structures that provide sites for the deposition of mineral calcium phosphate.

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From "Dictionary of Nursing and Individual Health Care"