International Journal of Medical Sciences

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16 January 2019

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Int J Med Sci 2012; 9(5):353-360. doi:10.7150/ijms.4276

Research Paper

Analysis of the Mineral Composition of the Human Calcified Cartilage Zone

Ying Zhang, Fuyou Wang, Hongbo Tan, Guangxing Chen, Lin Guo, Liu Yang

Center for Joint Surgery, Southwest Hospital, Third Military Medical University, Chongqing, 400038, China


As the connecting tissue between the hyaline articular cartilage and the subchondral bone, calcified cartilage zone (CCZ) plays a great role in the force transmission and materials diffusion. However, the questions that remain to be resolved are its mineral composition and organization. In this study, 40 healthy human knee specimens were harvested; first the CCZ was dissected and observed by Safranin O/fast green staining, then CCZ chemical characteristics were measured by using amino acid assay and X-ray diffraction. The percentage of dry weight of type II collagen as an organic compound of CCZ was 20.16% ± 0.96%, lower than that of the hyaline cartilage layer (61.39% ± 0.38%); the percentage of dry weight of hydroxyapatite as an inorganic compound was 65.09% ± 2.31%, less than that of subchondral bone (85.78% ± 3.42%). Our study provides the accurate data for the reconstruction of the CCZ in vitro and the elucidation of CCZ structure and function.

Keywords: Calcified Cartilage, Subchondral Bone, Collagen

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY-NC) License. See for full terms and conditions.
How to cite this article:
Zhang Y, Wang F, Tan H, Chen G, Guo L, Yang L. Analysis of the Mineral Composition of the Human Calcified Cartilage Zone. Int J Med Sci 2012; 9(5):353-360. doi:10.7150/ijms.4276. Available from