Landman - Molecular modulation of articular cartilage degradation - 2013

Ellie Landman

University of Twente 2013, dissertation


Articular cartilage is an avascular and aneural tissue, covering the ends of long bones
to provide a smooth surface to minimize pressure and friction during movement. Cartilage
is mainly composed of a dense extracellular matrix which consists of collagens
and proteoglycans and provides mechanical and tensile strength to the tissue. Articular
cartilage is composed of four distinct regions, the supercial zone, facing the
synovial cavity and containing a low concentration of aggrecan, the middle zone composed
of bundles of thicker collagen brils, the deep zone in which collagen bundles
are thickest and arranged radially, and the calcied zone, adjacent to the subchondral
bone. From the supercial zone down, chondrocyte density decreases, while the
concentration of proteoglycans relative to collagen increases [1].