noun, plural: chondroblasts
A cell actively producing the components of the extracellular matrix, and may form into a chondrocyte when it is trapped in the matrix it produced
There are two forms of cells in cartilage: chondroblasts and chondrocytes. The chondroblasts are cells that secrete the major component of the cartilage, i.e. the extracellular matrix (ECM). Some chondroblasts may be entrapped inside the ECM that they secrete. When that happens they become less active in producing ECM, and turn into chondrocytes that function mainly in the diffusion of nutrients and other substances and the repair of the matrix.
Word origin: Greek khondros (cartilage) + blastos (germ)