Animal tissues: Connective
Species: mouse (Mus musculus; mammal).
Technique: haematoxylin and eosin, 8 µm thick section, paraffin embedding
Elastic cartilage is found in the outer ear, the ear canal, Eustachian tube, epiglottis and larynx. It has little extracellular matrix, which contains abundant and branched elastic fibers. Elastic fibers contribute to the mechanical properties of this tissue. Elastic cartilage differentiates from mesenchymal tissue, but not from chondrogenic centers. Perichondrium, a thin layer of highly condensed connective tissue, covers the surface of the elastic cartilage. The isogeneous groups, 2 to 4 chondrocytes found together, are not easily observed. Elastic cartilage does not form bone, and it is not capable of self-repairing.