Difference between Bone and Cartilage – Comparison Table

Bone vs Cartilage

Difference between Bone and Cartilage: Bone and cartilage are connective tissues which form the skeletal system in the body. Bones are hard and tough which gives the structural framework of the skeleton in the body. Cartilages are soft and flexible components present in ear, nose and joints. Cartilage acts as shock absorbers between two bones and they prevent the rubbing between them the bones. Even though the bones and cartilages are connective tissues and they are the components of the skeletal framework, both show considerable differences in their formation, organization and functions.

The present post discusses about the Similarities and Differences between Bone and Cartilage with a Comparison Table.

Similarities between Bone and Cartilage

Ø  Both bone and cartilage are connective tissues.

Ø  Both are the components of the skeletal system.

Ø  Both provide shape to body parts.

Ø  Both provide protection to vital organs.

Ø  Both are mesodermal in origin.

Ø  Both composed of specialized cells embedded in the matrix of fibrous proteins.

Difference between Bone and Cartilage

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Difference between Bone and Cartilage

Sl. No.BoneCartilage
1Bone is tough and hardCartilage is soft and flexible
2Bones cannot bendCartilages can bend
3Function: protection against mechanical damage, movement of body parts, provides shape; produce blood cells, storehouse of mineralsFunctions: Reduce friction at joints, support the respiratory tract, acts as shock absorbers, and provides shape and flexibility of fleshy appendages such as ear and nose
4Bone matrix composed of ossein *Cartilage matrix composed of chondrin *
5Ossein is tough and inflexibleChondrin is firm but flexible
6Bone matrix is organic and inorganicCartilage matrix is completely organic
7Bone matrix made up of proteins, calcium and phosphorousCartilage matrix made of proteins and sugars
8Bone matrix is always impregnated with calcium saltsCartilage matrix is free or impregnated with calcium salts
9Matrix is lamellate and occurs in concentric mannerMatrix occurs as homogenous mass
10Osteocytes * are irregularChondroblasts * are oval shaped
11Osteoblasts * present: Osteoblasts are the layer of bone forming cells. They present as outer and inner layersNo special cartilage forming cells. Cartilage grows by the division of all chondroblasts
12Only one cell per bone lacunaeEach cartilage lacunae with a single or group of two or four cells
13Osteocytes give off branching processes in the developing boneProcesses are absent in chondroblasts
14Lacunae give off canaliculi *Lacunae do not have canaliculi
15Bone is vascularCartilage is non-vascular
16Bone is porousCartilage is non-porous
17Nerve supply presentNerve supply absent
18Bone usually has bone marrow at the centerNo such tissue present in cartilage
19Two types of bones: Compact bone and spongy boneThree types of cartilages: hyaline-cartilage, fibro-cartilage and elastic-cartilage
20Bones possess Haversian system * and Volkman’s canals *Cartilage does not have Haversian system and Volkman’s canals
21The growth pattern of bone is bidirectional.Growth pattern of Cartilage is unidirectional
22The covering of bone is called periosteumThe covering of cartilage is called perichondrium
23Bones never change to cartilageCartilage sometimes becomes bony due to calcification
24Metabolic activity of bone is highMetabolic activity of cartilage is low
25Oxygen demand high in bonesOxygen demand low in cartilage
26Bones possess extensive repair capabilitiesCartilages have very limited range of repair capabilities

* Glossary…

Ossein: The main protein component of bone also known as the collagen of bones.

Chondrin: A complex protein-carbohydrate mixture, the major component of cartilage.

Osteocytes: A type of bone cell, formed when an osteoblast becomes embedded in the material it has secreted.

Osteoblasts: main bone producing cell in the bone.

Chondroblasts: major cell component of cartilage, produces the chondrin which forms the matrix of cartilage.

Bone canaliculi: minute canals between the lacunae of ossified bones.

Haversian system: A structural unit of bone consisting of a Haversian canal and corresponding lamellae of compact bone.

Volkman’s canal: Channels in the bone that transmit blood vessels from the periosteum into the bone and that communicate with the haversian canals.

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