eCM (Eur Cell Mater / e Cells & Materials) Not-for-Profit Open Access
Created by Scientists, for Scientists
 ISSN:1473-2262         NLM:100973416 (link)         DOI:10.22203/eCM

2021   Volume No 44 – pages 74-89

Title: Osteochondral explants for diarthrodial joint diseases: bridging the gap between bench and bedside

Authors: KH Li, Y Zhu, PH Zhang, M Alini, S Grad, Z Li

Address: AO Research Institute Davos, Clavadelerstrasse 8, 7270 Davos Platz, Switzerland

E-mail: at

Abstract: Diarthrodial joint diseases, affecting hundreds of millions of people worldwide, mainly include osteoarthritis and cartilage injuries. No consensus on joint disease models has been achieved so far owing to the complex aetiologies, pathophysiological mechanisms and heterogeneity of disorders. The disease models established using isolated chondrocytes or small animals have the weaknesses of lacking native extracellular matrix and inter-species differences in anatomical and biomechanical cartilage properties. Osteochondral explants (OCEs) from large-animal or human joints present characteristics of native articular cartilage, showing promising potential for application in research on joint diseases. The present review focuses on OCEs and highlights the OCE sources, harvesting techniques, culture systems, applications and future developments. The OCE-centred ex vivo system has the potential to develop into preclinical models mimicking human joint diseases to help elucidate disease mechanisms, prompt therapeutic strategies and facilitate the clinical translation of findings in basic research.

Keywords: Articular cartilage defect, articular cartilage repair, ex vivo model, osteoarthritis, osteochondral explant.

Publication date: September 26th 2022

Article download: Pages 74-89 (PDF file)

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