Journey into Bone Models: A Review.
Bone is a complex tissue with a variety of functions, such as providing mechanical stability for locomotion, protection of the inner organs, mineral homeostasis and haematopoiesis. To fulfil these diverse roles in the human body, bone consists of a multitude of different cells and an extracellular matrix that is mechanically stable, yet flexible at the same time. Unlike most tissues, bone is under constant renewal facilitated by a coordinated interaction of bone-forming and bone-resorbing cells. It is thus challenging to recreate bone in its complexity in vitro and most current models rather focus on certain aspects of bone biology that are of relevance for the research question addressed. In addition, animal models are still regarded as the gold-standard in the context of bone biology and pathology, especially for the development of novel treatment strategies. However, species-specific differences impede the translation of findings from animal models to humans. The current review summarizes and discusses the latest developments in bone tissue engineering and organoid culture including suitable cell sources, extracellular matrices and microfluidic bioreactor systems. With available technology in mind, a best possible bone model will be hypothesized. Furthermore, the future need and application of such a complex model will be discussed.