Last Updated: March 16, 2017

Definition - What does Chondrocyte mean?

A chondrocyte is a cell that forms cartilage. These cells are the only ones found in cartilage. Cartilage is a unique connective tissue found in the body. Cartilage is often found at the end of bones and serves as a cushion to prevent friction between bones and joints. Cartilage tissue is also found in the nose, ears, and bronchial tubes.

WorkplaceTesting explains Chondrocyte

The chondrocyte cells of cartilage tissue are suspended in a space referred to as the lacunae. Within the lacunae, the cells produce collagen fibers, proteoglycan, and elastin fibers. It is these substances that form what is called the cartilage matrix and give cartilage its flexible and wear-resistant properties. The density of chondrocytes in the lacunae determines the flexibility of the cartilage it forms. The greater the density of the chondrocytes within the tissue, the more flexibility it has.

Cartilage tissue is not served by blood vessels. Instead, oxygen and nutrients reach the chondrocytes by passing through the lacunae. The lack of direct blood flow to cartilage tissue makes it slower to heal than other body tissue.

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