Arthritis & Rheumatism

Osteoarthritis assessment to go hi-tech

Scientists have reported an advanced imaging technique that allows the condition of joint cartilage to be examined—right down to the molecular level. The technique has potential for diagnostics and treatment-planning of ...

Medical research

New mechanism of bone growth discovered

In a paper published in the journal Nature, an international research team led by researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden reports that bone growth in mice takes place in accordance with the same principles as when ...

Arthritis & Rheumatism

3-D printing may help treat osteoarthritis

In a Journal of Orthopaedic Research study, scientists used 3-D printing to repair bone in the joints of mini-pigs, an advance that may help to treat osteoarthritis in humans.

Arthritis & Rheumatism

Network of proteins influences the advancement of osteoarthritis

A network of carbohydrate binding proteins—so-called galectins—plays an important role in the degeneration of cartilage in osteoarthritis. A research group at the MedUni Vienna was able to demonstrate this correlation, ...

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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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