Elastic cartilage

Definition

noun

A type of cartilage characterized by having cells surrounded by a territorial capsular matrix outside of which is an interterritorial matrix containing elastic fibre networks in addition to the collagen fibres and ground substance


Supplement

The cartilage is a connective tissue characterized by having an extracellular matrix that is abundant in chondroitin sulphate and chondrocytes as the cellular component. The cartilage has three main types: (1) elastic cartilage, (2) hyaline cartilage, and (3) fibrocartilage. They differ mainly from the fibers that are present.1

The elastic cartilage is histologically similar to hyaline cartilage based on appearance. Nevertheless, it can be distinguished from the hyaline cartilage by the presence of elastic fibers. Such fibers enable the elastic cartilage to become more flexible compared to other types of cartilage.2, 3

The elastic cartilage is found in the outer ear, Eustachian tube and epiglottis.


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Reference(s):
1 Clark, R. (2005). Anatomy and physiology : understanding the human body. Sudbury, Mass: Jones and Bartlett Publishers. p. 67.
2 Mow, V. & Huiskes, R. (2005). Basic orthopaedic biomechanics & mechano-biology. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. pp. 182-183.
3 Eroschenko, V. & Fiore, M. (2008). DiFiore's atlas of histology with functional correlations. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. p. 71-72.

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