Human Osteoblasts are the major cellular component of bone. The functional part of bone, the bone matrix, is entirely extracellular (outside of the cells). The bone matrix consists of protein and mineral. The protein is called the organic matrix; it is synthesized first, and then the mineral is added. The vast majority of the organic matrix is collagen, which provides tensile strength. Then the matrix is mineralized by deposition of a calcium-phosphate-hydroxide salt called hydroxyapatite . This mineral is very hard, and provides compressive strength.
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