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Articular cartilage is a smooth avascular highly-organized tissue containing chondrocytes embedded in the extracellular matrix of specific collagens and proteiglycans. Autoopod articular cartilage covers the epiphyseal ends of carpal and digit bones and the surfaces at the connection of carpal and metacarpal bones. The cartilage is essential for proper functioning of the synovial joint. In the mouse, the development of articular cartilage begins during embryogenesis at sites of synovial joint formation.