Bone and cartilage are two elements of connective tissue that are made up of cells embedded within an extracellular matrix. Both bones and cartilage play an important role in protecting the internal organs of the body, providing structural support and surfaces for muscle attachment. Difference between Bone and Cartilage
Before going on to highlight the main distinctions between these two parts of the body, let’s do a quick review of each of them.
What is a bone ? Difference between Bone and Cartilage
A bone is a very rigid connective tissue that forms the skeleton of vertebrates. They are the type of tissue that is made up of blood vessels and cells. A newborn baby will have about 300 bones; By the time the baby is an adult, only 206 bones will remain, as a result of the bones melting.
The main functions of bones are: Difference between Bone and Cartilage
- Serve as mineral storage.
- To provide structural support.
- To protect the internal organs of the body.
What is a cartilage?
A cartilage is a thin, fibrous, and flexible connective tissue, found mainly in the outer ear, larynx, respiratory tract, and articular surface of the joints. These cartilages lack blood vessels; therefore, the growth and development of these tissues is slower compared to that of other tissues. In total, there are three different types of cartilage, namely:
Types of cartilage :
- Hyaline cartilage: Serves as a shock absorber and allows smooth movement of the bones in the joints. They are mainly found in the nose, respiratory tract, and joints.
- Fibrocartilage is found in the knee and is tough and inflexible.
- Elastic cartilage is found in the ear, epiglottis, and larynx. It is the most flexible cartilage.
What is the difference between bone and cartilage?
Bones and cartilage are differentiated by their structure, type, and function. The main differences between bone and cartilage are detailed in the comparison table that you can see below.
|Bones are the hard, inelastic, and resistant organ that is part of the vertebral skeleton.||Cartilage is a soft, elastic and flexible connective tissue that protects bone from rubbing against each other.|
|The bones are of two types: compact or spongy.||Cartilage is of three types: hyaline cartilage, fibrocartilage, and elastic cartilage.|
|The bone cells are known as osteocytes.||The cartilage cells are known as chondrocytes.|
|Presence of blood vessels.||Absence of blood vessels (nutrients are obtained by diffusion)|
|The matrix is both organic and inorganic.||The matrix is completely organic.|
|It has deposits of calcium salts.||It may or may not have deposition of calcium salts.|
|Bones have an abundant supply of blood.||Lacks blood supply (therefore repair is slower)|
|The bone growth pattern is bidirectional.||The growth pattern of cartilage is unidirectional.|
|Presence of calcium phosphate in the matrix.||It does not have calcium phosphate in the matrix.|
|The Havers canal system is present.||Havers canal system is absent.|
|The Volkmann channel is present.||The Volkmann channel is absent.|
|It protects the body from mechanical damage, provides a frame and shape for the body, aids in body movement, stores minerals, and produces both red blood cells (red blood cells) and white blood cells (white blood cells).||It supports the respiratory tract, acts as a shock absorber between the weight-bearing bones, maintains the shape and flexibility of the fleshy appendages, and reduces friction on the joints.|