How does cartilage receive nutrients?

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Sarah C Share
Feb 7, 2016


The nutrients diffuse in from other vascularized, or nutrient rich, areas - the perichondrium or synovial fluid.


As cartilage is avascular (doesn't contain blood vessels) it cannot receive nutrients via the bloodstream. Instead, cartilage relies on two different sources.

Synovial Fluid - this is found in joints and supplies nutrients to surrounding chondrocytes (cartilage cells) through diffusion. This is how articular cartilage (the cartilage in bones) receive nutrients, as they don't have a perichondrium.

Perichondrium - This is how hyaline and elastic cartilage get nutrients. The perichondrium is a dense, irregular layer of fibrous tissue that covers the cartilage and is vascularized (has blood vessels) so can provide nutrients.

I hope this helps, let me know if i can help in any other way:)

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