About this Research Topic
In the field of regenerative medicine, much progress has been made towards the development of new treatment options for cartilage and bone defects. However, as of yet no regenerative medicine based approach surpasses the various long standing gold standard therapies. In order to move the field forward it is clear that increasing our understanding of the mechanisms controlling cell fate in the process of cartilage and bone formation and repair will be crucial. During development, disease and tissue repair intrinsic and extrinsic factors determine the fate of cells and tissues to form either stable cartilage or bone. Developmentally, bone can be formed either directly by bone forming osteoblasts laying down an organic matrix in a highly vascularised region and mineralising it or by the formation of an avascular cartilage template that ultimately is invaded by blood vessels, osteoblasts and osteoclasts and ultimately remodelled to form bone. The fate of the original chondrocytes was once thought to be hypertrophic/terminal differentiation and death. However, recent work from several groups has suggested that at least a portion of these cells persist and are involved in bone formation. What the controlling mechanisms are for the formation of bone or the maintenance of healthy cartilage are in the body are not clear but certainly include mechanical stimulation, pH, hypoxia, secreted factors, extracellular matrix, immune response, vascularisation, cell type/epigenetic profile. The aim of this Research Topic is to bring together research on these disparate mechanisms in an attempt to shed some light on how we might induce the formation and repair of bone and cartilage tissues in the regenerative medicine setting to finally improve upon old gold standards of joint replacement and autologous tissue transplantation.
Keywords: Bone, Cartilage, Endochondral Ossification, Development
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