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Elastic Cartilage Verhoeff, 400X sec
Elastic cartilage or yellow cartilage is a type of cartilage present in the outer ear, Eustachian tube and epiglottis. It contains elastic fiber networks and collagen fibers. The principal protein is elastin. Elastic cartilage is histologically similar to hyaline cartilage but contains many yellow elastic fibers lying in a solid matrix. These fibers form bundles that appear dark under a microscope. These fibers give elastic cartilage great flexibility so that it is able to withstand repeated bending. The chondrocytes lie between the fibres. It is found in the epiglottis (part of the larynx) and the pinnae (the external ear flaps of many mammals including humans). Elastin fibers stain dark purple/black with Verhoeff’s stain.