Difference between Bone and Cartilage

Cartilage and bone are special types of connective tissue composed of cells embedded in an extracellular matrix. Both cartilage and cartilage play an important role in protecting the internal organs of our body, providing structural support and anchors for muscles.

Difference between Bone and Cartilage

What is Bone?

It is the very hard connective tissue that makes up the bones of the vertebrae. These are types of tissues that consist of blood vessels and cells.

A newborn will have about 300 bones; By the time the child reached adulthood, only 206 bones would remain due to bone fusion.

The main function of bones are:

  1. To serve as storage for minerals.
  2. To provide structural support.
  3. To protect the internal organs of the body.

What is Cartilage?

It is a thin, fibrous, soft connective tissue, located mainly in the connective tissue of the external ear, nose, respiratory tract and joints. These glands are avascular; Therefore, these tissues grow and develop more slowly than other tissues. Generally, there are three different types of bones viz.

  • Hyaline cartilage: Acts as a shock absorber and allows bones to move smoothly in joints. They are most often found in the nose, respiratory tract and joints
  • Fibroid cartilage is located in the middle of the knee and is hard and inflexible.
  • Elastic cartilage is found in the ear, epiglottis and larynx. It is the most flexible bone.

Difference between Bone and Cartilage



Bones are the hard, inelastic and a tough organ that forms part of the vertebral skeleton. Cartilage is a soft, elastic and flexible connective tissue that protects the bone from rubbing against each other.
Bones are of two types: compact or spongy. Cartilage is of three types: Hyaline cartilage, fibrocartilage and elastic cartilage.
Bone cells are known as osteocytes. Cartilage cells are known as chondrocytes.
Presence of blood vessels. Absence of blood vessels (nutrients are obtained through diffusion)
The matrix is both organic and inorganic. The matrix is completely organic.
Has deposits of calcium salts. May or may not have deposition of calcium salts.
The bones have a rich blood supply. Lacks blood supply (hence repair is slower)
The growth pattern of the bone is bidirectional. The growth pattern of the cartilage is unidirectional.
Presence of calcium phosphate in the matrix. Has no calcium phosphate in the matrix.
Haversian canal system is present. Haversian canal system is absent.
Volkmann canal is present. Volkmann canal is absent.
Protect the body from mechanical damage, provide a framework and shape for the body, helps in the movement of the body, store minerals, and produce both RBC – red blood cells and WBC – white blood cells. Supports the respiratory tract, acts as shock absorbers between weight-bearing bones, maintains the shape and flexibility of fleshy appendages and reduces friction at joints.


Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Check Also
Back to top button