These fibers give elastic cartilage great flexibility so that it is able to withstand repeated bending. Elastic Cartilage. Its main function is the equalization of middle ear pressure to the ambient atmospheric pressure. This fiber type distinguishes elastic cartilage from all other forms. In this case, elastic cartilage has a protective and structural function. When relaxed, these chains are disorganized. Its matrix has many elastic fibers in addition to type II collagen. Types of Cartilage. The other two types of cartilage – hyaline and fibrous – are white in appearance. The outer ear is relatively unprotected and sticks out from the skull. On either side of the cartilage are the paler perichondrial layers. Elastic cartilage is the most flexible cartilage because it contains more elastin fibers. Elastic cartilage, also called yellow cartilage, is found in the outer ear, the Eustachian (auditory) tube, and the epiglottis, which is the tissue that separates the trachea and the esophagus. Should a person swallow, the epiglottis is pulled back and covers the opening into the larynx which lies in front of the opening into the esophagus. It contains elastic fiber networks and collagen type II fibers. Elastic cartilage or yellow cartilage is a type of cartilage present in the outer ear, Eustachian tube and epiglottis. These chondrocytes are surrounded by the extracellular matrix crisscrossed by a darker, fibrous network of collagen and elastin fibers. On most slides, the elastic fibers  stain with a darker stain so you can see the elastic network that is formed. A clear distinction can be felt in the ear lobes, which have no cartilage, in comparison to the cartilaginous pinnae. The effect of an imbalance in middle ear and atmospheric pressure is most readily experienced during the take-off and landing of an airplane. Forms the epiglottis : covers the opening of trachea when swallowing. The extracellular matrix of elastic cartilage contains higher levels of type II collagen. The Eustachian tube (pharyngotympanic tube/auditory tube) is a narrow tube of approximately 3mm wide. This action prevents saliva and food from entering the airway, where choking and aspiration pneumonia may be the result. The elastic fibers within the ECM of elastic cartilage are this tissue’s defining characteristic. The chains of glycosaminoglycan (GAG) that are part of the Aggrecan structure attract water and produce the lubricating and shock-absorbing qualities of cartilage. Under the microscope (histologically) elastic cartilage and hyaline cartilage look very similar, other than the many yellow fibers that are found in … Where is its location? Approximately what percentage of elastic cartilage is cellular? It is the most pliable and stretchable of all the three types of cartilage. These fibers form bundles that appear dark under a microscope. Elastic cartilage is histologically similar to hyaline cartilage but The shape returns to normal shape when pressure is removed. When swallowing, the flap of the epiglottis moves forward, closing the entrance to the airway and revealing that of the esophagus. Elastic fibers; Description: This cartilage is similar to hyaline cartilage, but it contains many more elastic fibers . Another important purpose of cartilage is to cover the surfaces of joints, allowing bones to slide over one another, thus reducing friction and preventing damage; it also acts as a shock absorber. Forms structures associated with the ear : (a) Pinna (outer ear) (b) Wall of external auditory meatus (canal) Biologydictionary.net, April 26, 2019. https://biologydictionary.net/elastic-cartilage/. The outer layer houses fibroblasts, which differentiate into chondrocytes as they progress towards the inner layer. This type of cartilage is typically found in their auricle of the ear and the epiglottis. The function of elastic cartilage, in this case, is therefore to spring back into a closed form upon the relaxation of this muscle, as such a narrow but important feature must be stable enough to retain its shape, and must be elastic enough to change it. Epiglottis Elastic Cartilage. In humans it makes up the external ear, the auditory tube of the middle ear, and the epiglottis. This osmotic effect produces a flexible but firm gel. It is more flexible than hyaline cartilage. Elastic cartilage is sometimes confusingly referred to as fibroelastic cartilage (this is confusing because there is another type of cartilage called fibrocartilage). Elastic cartilage function is two-fold: to change cartilage shape in response to tension, compression, and bending before returning to an at-rest state, and to provide a strong but flexible structure. Elastic cartilage is histologically similar to hyaline cartilage but contains many yellow elastic fibers lying in a solid matrix. The perichondrium is made up of two differently functioning layers: the inner layer contains chondroblasts (chondrocytes which are not yet fixed within the extracellular matrix, and which continue to produce the components of this thick gel-like substance). It is usually recognizable by its dull yellow color. Cartilage is a resilient and smooth elastic tissue, a rubber-like padding that covers and protects the ends of long bones at the joints and nerves, and is a structural component of the rib cage, the ear, the nose, the bronchial tubes, the intervertebral discs, and many other body components. ; Elastic - is found in the external ear, epiglottis and larynx. Like hyaline, elastic cartilage also has single or multiple chondrocytes housed within spaces called lacunae. The chondrocytes lie between the fibres. 8 Terms. Elastic cartilage is one of three types of cartilage found in the human body. Elastic cartilage is also found in the corniculate and cuneiform cartilages of the larynx, where the joints they create allow for the movement of the vocal chords and play a role in voice quality and pitch. These fibers give elastic cartilage great flexibility so that it is able to withstand repeated bending. Cartilage: elastic function. There is no type I collagen in elastic cartilage. It is similar to hyaline cartilage and has yellow elastic fibers that make it very flexible. Is a precursor of bone. As a springy and highly flexible connective tissue, elastic cartilage is found in specific places, primarily in the pinnae (or auricles) of the outer ear, shaping the folds which efficiently channel sound waves towards the inner ear. “Elastic Cartilage.”, Biologydictionary.net Editors. It is found in the epiglottis (part of the larynx), the pinnae (the external ear flaps of many mammals). Elastic cartilage function is two-fold: to change cartilage shape in response to tension, compression, and bending before returning to an at-rest state, and to provide a strong but flexible structure. Hence, this cartilage can be found in the ear, epiglottis, and larynx. Collagen fibers are also found within the perichondrium; the outer layer is more collagen-rich.