Figure 1: In vitro and ex vivo models to study chondrocyte maturation.
Chondrocyte maturation is critical during endochondral ossification. Different culture approaches have been utilized to investigate the chondrocyte phenotypical changes during maturation, as summarized here. Monolayer chondrocytes with a flat and polygonal morphology seen by DIC light microscopy (A) and H&E staining (B). 3-D micromass cultures seen by SEM (C) and H&E staining (D). Chondrocytes cultures in chitosan sponges, seen by SEM (E) and H&E staining (F). Ex vivo, organ culture of embryonic tibia stained with alcian blue and alizarin red (G) and H&E (H).