Chondrocytes are the only type of cell found in cartilage, which is a type of connective tissue that is found in various parts of the body, including the joints. Chondrocytes are responsible for producing and maintaining the extracellular matrix (ECM) of cartilage, which gives the tissue its characteristic toughness and resilience.

The ECM of cartilage is primarily made up of collagen and proteoglycans, which are large molecules that are synthesized and secreted by chondrocytes. The collagen provides the tissue with tensile strength, while the proteoglycans give it its compressive strength. Together, these components of the ECM give cartilage its unique properties, which make it well-suited to its role in joints and other load-bearing tissues.

Chondrocytes are relatively sparse in the cartilage tissue and have the ability to mitotic cell division which allows them to replenish the matrix when it is damaged. however, as the body ages or due to injury or disease, the chondrocytes can lose the ability to maintain the matrix resulting in degeneration and degradation of the cartilage tissue.

Chondrocytes also play a role in the repair of cartilage after injury, by migrating to the site of the injury, proliferating and producing new matrix. 

Acorn has successfully differentiated banked follicle cells into chondrocytes and are excited for potential applications in injury recovery and cartilage repair.