After completing this study unit you will be able to:
- Understand the structure of elastic cartilage.
- Recognize in which structures elastic cartilage is found.
Elastic cartilage has a similar composition as hyaline cartilage. However, the chondrocytes present are rather isolated and there is an abundance of elastic fibers embedded in the ground substance. These fiber networks typically appear yellowish in a fresh specimen, while in histological slides, they can be easily visualized using special stains.
Elastic cartilage is always surrounded by a perichondrium. It is found in the auricle, the external auditory canal, the ear trumpet, the epiglottis, the larynx and the small bronchi, where its flexibility and resistance to bending forces and deformation is functionally important.
Watch the following video to learn more about the properties and histological appearance of elastic cartilage:
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Ready to review all these structures in further detail? Browse our image gallery below: