A selection of images to highlight our research.

Click on each thumbnail for a higher resolution.


3-D reconstruction of a 4-cell chondron from the proliferative zone of the cartilage growth plate. The nucleus is rendered in blue and the endoplasmic reticulum (green) and cell layer (red) are also shown. Image courtesy of Toby Starborg.


The same 3-D reconstruction superimposed over the original electron micrograph.

max intensityz03

Immunofluorescence staining for matrilin-3 (green) and type XII collagen (orange). Matrilin-3 is predominantly found in the pericellualr matrix surrounding the stacks of chondrocytes identified by DAPI (blue) stained nuclei. Image courtesy of Peter Bell.

EM chondrocyte

Electron micrograph of two chondrocytes from the proliferative zone of the cartilage growth plate. Even though this is a wild type chondrocyte there is still some distention of the ER, which is characteristic of a ‘professional secretory cell’. Image courtesy of Roger Meadows.


In situ hybridisation for type X collagen mRNA showing its restricted localisation to the hypertrophic zone. Image courtesy of Helen Rajpar.

wtA merged

In situ hybridization for type II (red) and type X (green) collagen mRNA clearly shows that type II collagen mRNA is expressed predominantly in the resting and proliferative zones, whereas type X collagen mRNA expression is restricted to hypertrophic chondrocytes. Collagen II and X are both expressed in pre-hypertrophic chondrocytes (yellow), prior to the onset of hypertrophy and eventually apoptosis at the vascular invasion front (VIF). Image courtesy of Helen Rajpar.COMP Pent2

A superb rotary shadowing EM image of a typical cartilage oligomeric matrix protein (COMP) pentamer showing the typical carboxyl terminal globular domains.

Star fish

A different version of the same molecule! Good friend and collaborator Frank Zaucke (Cologne) spotted this ‘COMP’ starfish during the 2006 International Workshop on the Skeletal Growth Plate held in Washington, USA.

SequencingSometimes the old ways are the best ways! DNA sequencing of COL1A2.

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