We have developed an organotypic culture system that allows the production of bone tissue features on a centimeter scale. A composite, calcium phosphate-strained fibrin gel system is able to organize itself in the presence of osteoblastic cells, creating basic hierarchical units as seen in vivo, and can be modified to produce a range of other tissues that require such directional structuring. Constructs evolve over time into multi-compositional structures containing a high mineral content and terminally differentiated, osteocyte-like cells. These tissues can be cultured over extended durations (exceeding 1 year) and are responsive to a variety of chemical and biological agents. The platform can reduce the number of animals used in experimentation by acting as an intermediate stage in which more personalized research conditions can be generated. We provide a thorough description of the protocol used to successfully culture and modify this system, as well as guidance on compositional characterization. © 2019 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Curr Protoc Stem Cell Biol
biomaterials, bone, organotypic culture, osteocytes, self-organization, Animals, Bone and Bones, Calcium Phosphates, Cell Differentiation, Cells, Cultured, Ceramics, Fibrin, Osteocytes, Rats, Wistar, Tissue Engineering, Tissue Scaffolds