How does the chondrification process occur?
Chondrification is the process by which cartilage is formed from condensed mesenchyme tissues.
During cartilage formation mesenchymal stem cells are highly proliferative and form dense aggregates of chondrogenic cells. These then differentiate to chondroblasts which later synthesise the cartilage extra cellular matrix.
Chondroblasts then trap themselves in lacunae and are called chondrocytes. Lacunae are small spaces that are no longer in contact with the newly created matrix and they contain extra cellular fluid.
The majority of body cartilage is synthesised from chondroblasts. The division of cells within cartilage occurs very slowly. Cartilage growth mainly refers to matrix deposition and includes both growth and remodelling of the extra cellular matrix.
Early in feral development, the greater part of the skeleton is cartilaginous. It is gradually replaced by bone, though this process also ends at puberty. The cartilage in the joints remains permanently unossified during life.