Engineering small-scale and scaffold-based bone organs via endochondral ossification using adult progenitor cells

Celeste Scotti, Beatrice Tonnarelli, Adam Papadimitropoulos, Elia Piccinini, Atanas Todorov, Matteo Centola, Andrea Barbero, Ivan Martin

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Bone development, growth, and repair predominantly occur through the process of endochondral ossification, characterized by remodelling of cartilaginous templates. The same route efficiently supports engineering of bone marrow as a niche for hematopoietic stem cells (HSC). Here we describe a combined in vitro / in vivo system based on bone marrow-derived Mesenchymal Stem/Stromal Cells (MSC) that duplicates the hallmark cellular and molecular events of endochondral ossification during development. The model requires MSC culture with instructive molecules to generate hypertrophic cartilage tissues. The resulting constructs complete the endochondral route upon in vivo implantation, in the timeframe of up to 12 weeks. The described protocol is clearly distinct from the direct ossification approach typically used to drive MSC towards osteogenesis. Recapitulation of endochondral ossification allows modelling of stromal-HSC interactions in physiology and pathology and allows engineering processes underlying bone regeneration.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMethods in Molecular Biology
PublisherHumana Press Inc.
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Publication series

NameMethods in Molecular Biology
ISSN (Print)10643745


  • Bone regeneration
  • Endochondral ossification
  • Hematopoietic stem cells
  • Mesenchymal stem cells
  • Osteogenesis
  • Scaffold

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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