Related topics: stem cells · cells · arthritis · osteoarthritis

Space travel and your joints

A novel Henry Ford Hospital study of mice aboard a Russian spaceflight may raise an intriguing question for the astronauts of tomorrow: Could traveling in space be bad for your joints?

3-D printed tissues may keep athletes in action

Bioscientists are moving closer to 3-D-printed artificial tissues to help heal bone and cartilage typically damaged in sports-related injuries to knees, ankles and elbows.

Stem cells regulate their fate by altering their stiffness

In adults, mesenchymal stems cells (MSCs) are primarily found in bone marrow and they play a vital role in repair of damaged organs. The transformation of a single MSC into complex tissue like cartilage and bone starts with ...

A Fox code for the face

In the developing face, how do stem cells know whether to become cartilage, bones or teeth? To begin to answer this question, scientists from the USC Stem Cell laboratory of Gage Crump tested the role of a key family of genes, ...

Seasonal images reveal the science behind stem cells

At first glance, a pair of award-winning images created by University of Southampton postgraduate researcher Catarina Moura seem to have a seasonal theme. But look more closely and you'll see that the component parts of the ...

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Cartilage

Cartilage is a type of dense connective tissue existing within many joints. It is composed of specialized cells called chondrocytes that produce a large amount of extracellular matrix composed of collagen fibers, abundant ground substance rich in proteoglycan, and elastin fibers. Cartilage is classified in three types, elastic cartilage, hyaline cartilage and fibrocartilage, which differ in the relative amounts of these three main components.

Cartilage is found in many areas in the body, including the articular surface of the bones, the rib cage, the ear, the nose, the bronchial tubes and the intervertebral discs. Its mechanical properties are intermediate between bone and dense connective tissue like tendon.

Unlike other connective tissues, cartilage does not contain blood vessels. The chondrocytes are fed by diffusion, helped by the pumping action generated by compression of the articular cartilage or flexion of the elastic cartilage. Thus, compared to other connective tissues, cartilage grows and repairs more slowly.

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