Endochondral ossification is the process of developmental bone formation that occurs via a cartilage intermediate. It is an extremely complex event that involves multiple cell types, including bone cells, vessel cells and cells of the bone marrow niche. Currently it is not possible to recapitulate endochondral ossification under controlled conditions in the laboratory. This process is not only crucial for bone development and repair after injury, but it also plays a role in several debilitating diseases including osteoarthritis. As a consequence, there is a lack of in vitro models to investigate endochondral ossification in these conditions, preventing us from understanding the disease mechanisms and how to restore normal bone formation. The ability to model aspects of endochondral ossification in vitro would provide researchers with new tools to investigate the cellular and molecular basis of bone formation under physiological or pathological conditions.
Our grup wants to develop advanced in vitro models that can reflect the complexity of vascularised bone. Taking inspiration from the natural process of endochondral ossification, we aim to generate experimental systems that accurately capture aspects of the bone formation process. Ultimately this can provide invaluable tools for fundamental research and drug screening for musculoskeletal diseases and bone-related conditions. Finally, a reliable in vitro model of bone formation will reduce or eliminate the currently unavoidable need for animals to generate bone for research purposes.
Image: bone organoid generated by stem cells via endochondral ossification [Farrell et al., BMC Musculoskelet Disord 2011]
Andrea Lolli, Encheng Ji, Imke Janssen, Amaia Garmendia Urdalleta
BACKGROUND Breast cancer hits 1 woman in 8, and its most common metastatic site is the bone (70%). A major hurdle to overcome breast cancer mortality is the lack of understanding of the dynamics leading…Read More
Andres Sastre, E., Maly, K., Zhu, M., Witte-Bouma, J., Trompet, D., Bohm, A. M., Brachvogel, B., van Nieuwenhoven, C. A., Maes, C., van Osch, G., Zaucke, F., and Farrell, E. (2021)
Bone 150, 115999