Articular cartilage: Structure and regeneration

José Becerra, José A. Andrades, Enrique Guerado, Plácido Zamora-Navas, José M. López-Puertas, A Hari Reddi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

155 Scopus citations


Articular cartilage (AC) has no or very low ability of self-repair, and untreated lesions may lead to the development of osteoarthritis. One method that has been proven to result in long-term repair or isolated lesions is autologous chondrocyte transplantation. However, first generation of these cells' implantation has limitations, and introducing new effective cell sources can improve cartilage repair. AC provides a resilient and compliant articulating surface to the bones in diarthrodial joints. It protects the joint by distributing loads applied to it, so preventing potentially damaging stress concentrations on the bone. At the same time it provides a low-friction-bearing surface to enable free movement of the joint. AC may be considered as a visco- or poro-elastic fiber-composite material. Fibrils of predominantly type II collagen provide tensile reinforcing to a highly hydrated proteoglycan gel. The tissue typically comprises 70% water and it is the structuring and retention of this water by the proteoglycans and collagen that is largely responsible for the remarkable ability of the tissue to support compressive loads.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)617-627
Number of pages11
JournalTissue Engineering - Part B: Reviews
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Bioengineering
  • Biochemistry


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