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2023, Vol. 27 ›› Issue (2): 300-306

An osteoarthritis model in vitro: characteristics and new design idea

Li Mingxiu1, Wang Xuan1, Yang Jie2, Li Yi2   

  1. 1The Second Clinical Medical College of Shaanxi University of Chinese Medicine, Xianyang 712046, Shaanxi Province, China; 2Department of Foot and Ankle Surgery, Honghui Hospital Affiliated to Medical College of Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an 710054, Shaanxi Province, China

  • Received:2021-12-11 Accepted:2022-03-10 Online:2023-01-18 Published:2022-06-20

  • Contact: Li Yi, MD, Chief physician, Department of Foot and Ankle Surgery, Honghui Hospital Affiliated to Medical College of Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an 710054, Shaanxi Province, China

  • About author:Li Mingxiu, Master candidate, the Second Clinical Medical College of Shaanxi University of Chinese Medicine, Xianyang 712046, Shaanxi Province, China

  • Supported by:

    Bureau-level Scientific Research Project of Xi’an Health Bureau in 2018, No. J201802027 (to LY); Shaanxi Provincial Social Development Science and Technology Project, No. 2016SF-333 (to LY); Shaanxi Provincial Key Research and Development Program, No. 2020SF-099; Shaanxi Provincial Innovation Ability Support Plan - Innovation Talent Promotion Plan - Science and Technology Innovation Team, No. 2021TD-59


Abstract: BACKGROUND: In domestic and foreign literature, an in vitro model is an important tool to study the pathogenesis and effective treatment of osteoarthritis. All kinds of in vitro models have their advantages and disadvantages and related applications; however, so far, there is no ideal experimental model that can study all the characteristics of osteoarthritis.  
OBJECTIVE: To review relevant literature in recent years and summarize the advantages and disadvantages of various osteoarthritis models in vitro and their related applications, providing further understanding of osteoarthritis and its therapeutic methods.  
METHODS: The articles related to PubMed, CNKI, VIP, and WanFang databases from 2010 to 2021 were searched by computer with the English search words: “osteoarthritis, in vitro, model” in English and Chinese. Sixty-three qualified literature with strong correlation and relatively new publication years were selected for review.  
RESULTS AND CONCLUSION: Two-dimensional cell culture models of osteoarthritis are easy to be constructed and produced on a large scale, but they are only suitable for studies at the cellular level due to the lack of typical three-dimensional microstructure and interactions with surrounding cells and extracellular matrix. Explant model and three-dimensional cell culture provide an internal environment close to the physical condition of the human body, which can be used to study not only cytokines stimulation but also physical injuries and biomechanical changes. Therefore, we can better study the molecular mechanism of osteoarthritis and propose available interventions. However, from the view of tissue volume and cell vitality, mass production of these models is difficult.   In addition, the article also discusses advanced tissue engineering models such as three-dimensional biofabrication models, organoids, and organ-on-a-chip models. Three-dimensional bio-printing technologies and bioreactors have obvious advantages in precise control of tissue structure, transport of bioactive molecules, dynamic cell culture and other aspects, but it still needs further improvement and innovation at present. In general, compared with the two-dimensional cell culture model, the in vitro three-dimensional tissue model is more suitable for current research and individualized treatment of osteoarthritis. In the future, it is expected to integrate emerging technologies such as organ chip technology, three-dimensional bio-printing technology and bioreactor, and eventually develop a more suitable platform for osteoarthritis treatment and drug testing.
Key words: in vitro model, osteoarthritis, two-dimensional, three-dimensional, tissue explant, treatment, research progress, cost, review


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