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Human pluripotent stem cell-derived cartilaginous organoids promote scaffold-free healing of critical size long bone defects

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

BACKGROUND: Bones have a remarkable capacity to heal upon fracture. Yet, in large defects or compromised conditions healing processes become impaired, resulting in delayed or non-union. Current therapeutic approaches often utilize autologous or allogeneic bone grafts for bone augmentation. However, limited availability of these tissues and lack of predictive biological response result in limitations for clinical demands. Tissue engineering using viable cell-based implants is a strategic approach to address these unmet medical needs. METHODS: Herein, the in vitro and in vivo cartilage and bone tissue formation potencies of human pluripotent stem cells were investigated. The induced pluripotent stem cells were specified towards the mesodermal lineage and differentiated towards chondrocytes, which subsequently self-assembled into cartilaginous organoids. The tissue formation capacity of these organoids was then challenged in an ectopic and orthotopic bone formation model. RESULTS: The derived chondrocytes expressed similar levels of collagen type II as primary human articular chondrocytes and produced stable cartilage when implanted ectopically in vivo. Upon targeted promotion towards hypertrophy and priming with a proinflammatory mediator, the organoids mediated successful bridging of critical size long bone defects in immunocompromised mice. CONCLUSIONS: These results highlight the promise of induced pluripotent stem cell technology for the creation of functional cartilage tissue intermediates that can be explored for novel bone healing strategies.
Journal: Stem Cell Research and Therapy
Issue: 1
Volume: 12
Number of pages: 16
Publication year:2021
Keywords:Cell biology, Experimental/laboratory medicine