Hyaline cartilage

Definition

noun

A type of cartilage that is characteristically glossy and smooth in appearance, and with interstitial substance containing fine type II collagen fibres obscured by the 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 hyaline cartilage is the most common type of cartilage.2 The name implies that it is the cartilage that is glassy or transparent in appearance. Nevertheless, this appearance is lost as the tissue ages. Hyaline cartilage contains relatively few fibers and provides a smooth surface for movement as well as a cushion that absorbs shock where bones meet.1 The hyaline cartilage is generally covered by perichondrium, with few exceptions such as at the articular ends of bones. Under the microscope, the chondrocytes are rounded or bluntly angular in form. In adult cartilage, the cells are present in isogenous groups. The hyaline cartilage is found in the larynx, trachea, bronchi, and on the articular surfaces of the bones (referred to as the articular cartilage).


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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.

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