The Histology Guide

Cartilage and Bone: Basic Structure

diagram of connective tissue

Cartilage and bone are both modified rigid forms of connective tissue, which was covered in the topic on tissue types.

Connective tissue has two main consitutents - cells and extracellular material.

As discussed in the section on connective tissue; the extracellular material determines the physical properties of the supporting tissue. Extracellular material (ground substance) contains glycosoaminoglycans (GAG), fibres and structural glycoproteins.

Remind yourself in more detail about the extracellular material of connective tissue in general

Cartilage is a strong, flexible and semi-rigid supporting tissue. It can withstand compression forces, and yet it can bend.

Find out more about cartilage.

Bone is rigid, mainly because the extracellular matrix is calcified.

Find out more about the properties of bone.