Human articular hyaline cartilage is composed of a dense extracellular matrix (ECM) made up of 70% water and 30% protein. The major protein components are type II collagen and proteoglycans, with other non-collagenous proteins present in small amounts. All are regenerated slowly but continuously by chondrocyte cells through the structure  and it is the combination of proteoglycans held within the overall collagen structure that combines to hold water in the ECM, which is essential in the maintenance of its unique mechanical properties. The interactions between proteoglycans and collagen are elusive but known to be of electrostatic nature .
We acknowledge ARUK (Versus Arthritis) for funding this study (grant number 19869) and the NHS Grampian Biorepository for the access to cartilage samples. BWCK received a Foulkes Foundation Fellowship. This project has also received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 668119 (project “IDentIFY”) and
NHS Grampian endowments. This work received support from the EURELAX COST Action CA15209, supported by COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology).
- Fast field-cycling NMR
- Human hyaline cartilage
- T1 dispersion
- Quadrupolar peaks
- protein interactions