A family of complex, highly sulfated, unbranched polysaccharides with diverse and essential biological functions. They are crucial components of connective tissues and critical to life. For example, they are thought to act as the glue or cement of the cornea. They serve to provide structural support and elasticity required for the successful functioning of the cornea. Together with other molecules, they form the solid part of the cornea and their spread and arrangement are responsible for corneal thickness and transparency.