A variety of bone graft products have been developed to provide alternatives to autologous bone to fill bony defects. The pathway to clinical translation of bone graft materials typically involves pre-clinical studies in cell culture followed by evaluation of safety and efficacy in pre-clinical animal models.
Factors including expense and a range of ethical considerations associated with pre-clinical animal models have motivated increased interest in innovative culture methods to screen bone graft materials on the pathway to clinical translation. Sato et al. report in a recent article the application of an oxygen-perfused 3D-culture model as a tool to study the osteogenic capacity of 3 calcium phosphate-based materials, as indicated by mesenchymal stem cell differentiation. The same materials were evaluated in a mouse calvarial defect model, and the authors report strong correlation between the osteogenic markers in culture and the bone formation observed in vivo. The authors suggest that 3D-culture tools such as the one investigated may enable prediction of the bone forming capacity of bone graft materials on the path to translation.
Culture of hybrid spheroids composed of calcium phosphate materials and mesenchymal stem cells on an oxygen-permeable culture device to predict in vivo bone forming capability.
Sato T, Anada T, Hamai R, Shiwaku Y, Tsuchiya K, Sakai S, Baba K, Sasaki K, Suzuki O. Acta Biomater. 2019 Mar 4. pii: S1742-7061(19)30167-9. doi: 10.1016/j.actbio.2019.03.001. [Epub ahead of print]