The aim of this proposal is to develop an in vitro model of endochondral ossification combined with neovascularisation in order to develop treatments for musculoskeletal ailments and to enable us to better understand the processes leading to tissue formation and disease processes, such as osteoarthritis. The process of endochondral ossification is that by which bone is formed not directly but by first developing cartilage, which is subsequently mineralised and vascularised. These two processes are intimately linked. This project will use adult human marrow stromal cells to induce bone formation via chondrogenesis and chondrocyte hypertrophy as occurs with endochondral ossification. Neovascularisation will also be induced separately using the same cell and scaffold source. These constructs will then be combined in a truly novel approach to understand the role of vessel invasion in bone and cartilage formation. Generation of a viable vascularised bone construct will also take place. In the coming years, with an increasing demographic trend towards an older population in Europe and worldwide, there is a serious socioeconomic need for the development of new treatments for musculoskeletal ailments. One of the problems with current tissue engineering approaches to these problems is a lack of basic understanding of the complex process underway in tissue repair in vivo. This model will serve two purposes. Firstly it will deepen this understanding and secondly, it will offer several potentially suitable treatment options for bone and cartilage repair.
Fields of science
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