Hyalino: What is it? Cartilage Structure and Microanatomy

It refers to a hard connective tissue.

Found on many joint surfaces, it is pearl gray with a firm consistency and has a considerable amount of collagen, but relatively little elastin . It does not contain nerves or blood vessels, and its structure is relatively simple.

Hyaline cartilage is the most widespread and is the type that forms the embryonic skeleton .

It persists in human adults at the ends of bones in free-moving joints such as articular cartilage, at the ends of the ribs, and in the nose, larynx , trachea, and bronchi. It has a brilliant blue-white appearance and is very resistant.

Structure of hyaline cartilage

Hyaline cartilage is covered externally by a fibrous membrane known as the perichondrium or, when along the articular surfaces, the synovium. This membrane contains vessels that provide the cartilage with nutrition through diffusion.

The hyaline cartilage matrix is ​​mainly composed of type II collagen and chondroitin sulfate, which are also found in elastic cartilage.

Hyaline cartilage exists at the ventral ends of the ribs, in the larynx, trachea, and bronchi, and on the articular surfaces of the bones. Gives structures a defined but flexible shape. The presence of collagen fibers strengthens such structures and joints, but with limited mobility and flexibility.

Hyaline cartilage is the most prevalent type of cartilage. It also forms the temporary embryonic skeleton.


When a thin piece of hyaline cartilage is examined under the microscope, it is shown to consist of cells (chondrocytes) of round or blunt shape, found in groups of two or more in a granular or nearly homogeneous matrix.

The matrix, itself, is produced by chondrocytes, they are cartilage cells that produce the matrix. When arranged in groups of two or more, chondrocytes are rounded, but generally straight outlines, where they are in contact with each other, and on the rest of their circumference are rounded.

They consist of translucent protoplasm with fine interlaced filaments and tiny granules are occasionally found. Embedded in this are one or two round nuclei, which have the usual intranuclear lattice.

The cells are contained in cavities in the matrix. These cavities are actually artificial gaps formed from the contraction of cells during staining and the adjustment of tissue for examination.

The interterritorial space between the isogenic cell groups contains relatively more collagen fibers , allowing it to maintain its shape while the actual cells contract, creating the gaps.

Each lagoon is generally occupied by a single cell, but during mitosis, it can contain several cells.

Articular cartilage

Articular cartilage is hyaline cartilage on the articular surfaces of the bones and is found within the joint cavity of the synovial joints, bathed in the synovial fluid produced by the synovial membrane that lines the walls of the cavity.

Although it is often found in close contact with articular menisci and discs, articular cartilage is not considered part of either of these structures, which are made entirely of fibrocartilage.

The biochemical breakdown of articular cartilage leads to osteoarthritis, the most common type of joint disease. Osteoarthritis affects more than 30 million people in the United States alone, and is the leading cause of chronic disability among the elderly.