After completing this study unit you will be able to:
- Explain the function of cartilage tissue.
- Describe the properties of fibrocartilage.
Cartilage is a type of elastic connective tissue that fulfills a supporting and protective function in the body. Cartilage tissue is avascular and therefore relies on obtaining its nutrients via diffusion, sometimes even over large distances.
Fibrocartilage is a transition tissue that should be viewed as a blend between hyaline cartilage and dense fibrous connective tissue. It is a white, densely arranged, opaque, tufted tissue with a mixture of both chondrocytes and fibroblasts. The former typically lie between bundles of type I and type II collagen fibers. Due to its unique composition and anatomical location, it is resistant to mechanical stress and has a great tensile strength. Fibrocartilage is found in the intervertebral discs, in the socket of the temporomandibular joint or in the menisci in the knee joint.
Watch the following video to learn more about the properties and histological appearance of fibrocartilage:
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Ready to review all these structures in further detail? Browse our image gallery below: