Articular Cartilage | Peer Reviewed Journals
Epigenetics Research: Open Access

Epigenetics Research: Open Access
Open Access

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Articular Cartilage

Articular cartilage function is based upon its composition of hyaline cartilage, which is practically frictionless due to the glass-like surface and ability to self-lubricate via lubricating glycoproteins within the extracellular matrix. When articulation is smooth, less stress is exercised on the cartilage surface and the tissue is more resistant to wear, in the same way oil added to a squeaky door hinge prevents the erosion of the touching surfaces.

The structure of articular cartilage into three zones with different characteristics allows for an efficient, load-bearing surface which distributes compressive forces generated during diarthroidal joint loading and diarthroidal joint motion. Wrong movement in load bearing cartilage, for example at a joint between the long bones, is the reason why the knee (between the femur and tibia) is the location of frequent articular cartilage injury. The knee joint can undergo damage through excessive rotation; a common football injury is the dreaded meniscus tear. A further function of articular cartilage is the ability for that part of the anatomy to move on one or more planes. The joint range of movement depends on the specific type of diarthroidal joint.

Relevant Topics in Genetics & Molecular Biology