OSTEOGENESIS AND CONDROGENESIS: MODELS OF BIOCOMPATILITY IN VIVO AND IN
Learning outcomes of the course unit
The aim of the course is to let the students to acquire the knowledge and to be able to understand in detail the biological basis of articular cartilage tissue (in terms of chondrogenesis, differentiation and metabolism), the cellular and molecular aspects of the pathogenesis of the disease and the cellular and molecular basis of the regenerative processes / healing with emphasis on the basic concepts of cell therapy and tissue engineering; as a result of learning, the student will have acquired skills:
- to independently investigate on the study of regenerative medicine/ reparative articular cartilage;
- to fully understand the significance of the study of cell models and biotechnological techniques used for the repair / regeneration of the articular cartilage;
- to critically evaluate the information contained in the scientific literature;
- to analyze what the scientific research has developed in this area;
- to acquire, with the laboratory work, the skills necessary for the preparation of primary cell cultures of articular chondrocytes and for their maintenance and differentiation in three-dimensional systems for the evaluation of biocompatibility and the choindroinductive characteristics of film and scaffold of biomaterials.
Course contents summary
The content of the Course is "The pathology and repair of articular cartilage: molecular and cellular aspects and mechanisms of degenerative pathology and reparative response of the tissue with reference to the theoretical models and the biotechnological applications aimed at the cartilage regeneration.
The lectures deal with, in a first part, the general aspects of chondrogenesis, biology and physiology of synovial joints and articular cartilage and the main aspects of the pathophysiology of articular cartilage such as the pathogenesis of degenerative and discondroplastic joint diseases (osteoarthritis and osteochondrosis). In a second part, the biopatological aspects of the repair of articular cartilage and the biological basis of biotechnologic applications for its regeneration/repair are treated as follows: chondrocyte differentiation and cellular models used in the innovative biotechnology techniques applied for tissue regeneration (tissue engineering, biocompatible biomaterials and systems for induction of chondrogenesis).
The practicals treats the management in vitro of cultures of chondrocytes isolated from articular cartilage.
a) FIRST PART: Introductory aspects and general characteristics of cartilagineous:
-The chondrogenesis : molecular aspects of chondrogenic differentiation in vitro and in vivo: gene expression and influence of growth factors. Molecular regulation of the chondrogenesis . - The physiology of the synovial joints : structure and function . - Biology of articular cartilage : microscopic organization, molecular structure, function and metabolism. The chondrocyte and its role in the pathology and repair. - Pathophysiology of articular cartilage : macroscopic and microscopic aspects and the pathogenesis of degenerative and discondroplasic diseases of articular cartilage ( osteoarthritis and osteochondrosis).
b) SECOND PART. The repair/regeneration of articular cartilage: models of study in vitro and in vivo:
- Problems and prospects; - Basics on the chondroprotective molecules ; - Models and techniques for cell regeneration / repair of cartilage : differentiated chondrocytes and mesenchymal stem cells, the prospects and limitations of the cell transplantation , the chondrocyte differentiation and de-differentiation, the induction of chondrogenesis ; - Innovative biotechnology application of cartilage repair: concepts of tissue engineering , biomaterials, principles of biocompatibility of the chondro-conductive and chondro-inductive systems.
Practicals: 1) Isolation and primary culture of articular chondrocytes ; 2) Models for the culturing and maintenance in vitro chondrocyte differentiation (bi- and three-dimensional systems) and for the assessment of biocompatibilty of biomaterials.
1) Slides of the lectures; 2) Summary and schematic Lecture Notes on the topics covered; 3) Experimental protocols describing the laboratory practice.4) Scientific reviews from international bibliography.
The educational material is available online
The frontal lessons (28 hours) are organized by means of the presentation of the arguments with Power Point slides. Laboratory work (12 hours) will be carried out in the laboratory with the availability of multi-seat microbiological hoods, with thermostated bath for enzymatic isolation of the tissue and inverted optical microscopes for counting and observation of the cells and their culturing in diferent systems. Students will work directly following laboratory protocols defined for the preparation of primary cultures and of specific culture systems for articular chondrocyte.
Assessment methods and criteria
The assessment of the achievement of the objectives of the course has based on an oral examination with one or more questions on the topics covered in the theoretical part and on the practicals in order to assess whether the student has acquired the knowledge and understanding of the content of the course and the ability to apply them. The result of the examination is based on the evaluation of the response of the student to both of the questions with an overall assessment.
It 's optional to sustain an ongoing testing (written test multiple choice or Power Point presentation of specific subject with one or more oral questions) on the first part of the program; the examination will be completed, in the date of the official exams, on the topics of the second part and of the practical part with the definition of the final vote.
The teacher is available for educational meetings for students in order to further explanations and clarifications, both during the course and for the exam, from Monday to Friday prior agreements via-email. Without warning, the preferable days compatible with other teaching duties, are Wednesday and Thursday from 14 to 16 pm.