A chondroblast is a cell which originates from a mesenchymal stem cell and forms chondrocytes, commonly known as cartilage cells. Chondroblasts that become embedded in the matrix are called chondrocytes. They lie in the space or lacunae present in groups of two or more. The groups are formed by division of a single parent cell. Groups of chondrocytes are called cell nests or isogenous cell groups. They have euchromatic nuclei and stain by basic dyes.
Although chondroblast is still commonly used to describe an immature chondrocyte, use of the term is discouraged, for it is technically inaccurate since the progenitor of chondrocytes (which are mesenchymal stem cells) can also differentiate into several cell types including osteoblasts.