The Impact of Culture Variables on a 3D Human In Vitro Bone Remodeling Model: A Design of Experiments Approach

Bregje W. M. de Wildt, Lizzy A. B. Cuypers, Esther E. A. Cramer, Annelieke S. Wentzel, Keita Ito, Sandra Hofmann

Published: 2023

Human in vitro bone remodeling models, using osteoclast–osteoblast cocultures, can facilitate the investigation of human bone remodeling while reducing the need for animal experiments. Although current in vitro osteoclast–osteoblast cocultures have improved the understanding of bone remodeling, it is still unknown which culture conditions support both cell types. Therefore, in vitro bone remodeling models can benefit from a thorough evaluation of the impact of culture variables on bone turnover outcomes, with the aim to reach balanced osteoclast and osteoblast activity, mimicking healthy bone remodeling. Using a resolution III fractional factorial design, the main effects of commonly used culture variables on bone turnover markers in an in vitro human bone remodeling model are identified. This model is able to capture physiological quantitative resorption–formation coupling along all conditions. Culture conditions of two runs show promising results: conditions of one run can be used as a high bone turnover system and conditions of another run as a self-regulating system as the addition of osteoclastic and osteogenic differentiation factors is not required for remodeling. The results generated with this in vitro model allow for better translation between in vitro studies and in vivo studies, toward improved preclinical bone remodeling drug development.

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