Osteochondral defects (OCD) induced by either rheumatism, joint dysplasia, trauma, or surgery,. affect both articular cartilage and subchondral bone with limited reparation due to the avascular nature of the articular cartilage, which can usually lead to osteoarthritis (OA), one of the most incapacitating degenerative diseases.1 The current strategies to treat OCD are not effective for the complete OCD regeneration and involve the administration of non-steroidal anti-inflamatory drugs for symptomatic relief and invasive alternatives. Therefore, researchers have been using in vitro models to assess the bone-cartilage interface dynamics in health and diseased tissues. However, extra care should be taken due to the hurdles related to in vitro models for osteochondral tissue. Specifically, bone and cartilage have different cell and extracellular matrix constitutions with dissimilar structures that require a balance in mechanical properties and mechanobiological stimulation.2 The most commonly used models include static and dynamic models like monolayer, co-cultures, 3D cultures and explant cultures using Petri dishes, bioreactors and microfluidics.3
Although in vitro models are crucial to advance research in the osteochondral field, and to subsequently test potential therapeutic, there is still no consensus on the most appropriate model to use. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to identify the most suitable in vitro models that fully mimic bone, cartilage tissue and its interface, in order to develop suitable therapeutic approaches aiming its successful repair/regeneration, while allowig envisioning the development of personalized treatments.
1. Goldring S, et al. Nature Reviews Rheumatology. 2016 12(11): 632-644;
2. Johnson C, et al. The Veterinary Journal 2016. 209:40-49
3. Canadas RF, et al. Tissue Engineering Part A, 22, issue S1, pp. 253.