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Cartilage and the two meanings of the word

Cartilage and the two meanings of the word - Cartilage and...

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Cartilage and the two meanings of the word "electro-osmosis" Occasionally, certain phenomena are reasonably well understood by some experts (like me) (thus not being "unsolved" in the usual sense), but most scientists & MDs still don't get the point. The swelling pressure that gives cartilage much of its strength is produced by a form of osmotic pressure that depends on electrical attraction between sugars and ions, instead of a semi- permeable membrane. Long chains of sugars, some of which have sulfate groups covalently bound to them, are covalently connected to fibrous proteins, that are in turn connected to type II collagen fibers. Water diffuses in among these proteins and chains of sulfonated sugars, and the sulfate groups become ionized (with a net negative charge) but are prevented from diffusing freely by their covalent connections to the sugars, which in turn are connected to proteins. The negative charge of these sulfates is balanced by positive ions (cations), including hydrogen ions (please don't call them "protons"!), sodium ions, calcium ions, potassium ions etc. Regardless of which cations are dissolved in the water, their total concentration is considerably higher inside a piece of cartilage, as compared with adjacent body fluids.
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