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    Evercyte synoviocyte and chondrocyte bioassays target osteoarthritis

    products-servicesEvercyte GmbH
    February 24th 2023

    Evercyte can now offer a range of in vitro bioassays based on human chondrocytes and synoviocytes to increase understanding of osteoarthritis (OA) and related conditions and test the potential of different therapies in promoting cartilage regeneration and controlling inflammation.

    This new range of versatile bioassays were developed to mimic osteoarthritis (OA) in vitro to meet life sciences industry needs to identify causal factors involved in OA to better understand the disease and test the regenerative and anti-inflammatory potential of novel therapeutics, such as extracellular vesicles from mesenchymal stromal cells (MSC-EVs).

    Seeking a cure for osteoarthritis

    Osteoarthritis (OA) is a complex and multi-tissue pathology involving cartilage, bone and synovium and was thought to be an age-related disease. Recent studies suggested that it is caused by the imbalance between repair and destruction mechanisms, related to factors such as increased levels of inflammatory components, metabolic changes, cellular senescence, and mechanical overload that lead to erosion of the cartilage surface, which in turn causes matrix degradation and the release of pro-inflammatory mediators as chondrocytes attempt to repair.

    Inflammatory infiltration reduces chondrocyte function and promotes cartilage degradation which products are released into the synovial fluid and phagocytosed by synovial cells, amplifying the synovial inflammation. Activated synovial cells produce pro-inflammatory mediators that lead to the production of enzymes responsible for the cartilage breakdown creating a positive feedback loop.

    Currently, there is no cure for OA that can target the issues causing the disease. Existing therapeutic options can only relieve pain and improve joint mobility in the patient, eventually leading to joint replacement therapy, when the pain relief therapies are no longer effective.

    In recent years, MSCs have become an attractive candidate for OA treatment, however many questions regarding their safety remain unanswered. Hence, EVs derived from MSC are emerging as cell-free alternatives to MSC therapy as in vitro studies have shown MSC-EVs to reduce OA inflammation and promote cartilage regeneration.1

    Synoviocyte and chondrocyte cultures

    Evercyte understood that novel in vitro tests are key in advancing pre-clinical studies and better understanding of the underlying mechanisms of OA. Furthermore, identification of effective therapies depends on being able to select precise in vitro models that mimic OA conditions. These require a combination of 2D and 3D cultures, with co-culture systems used to create a more realistic microenvironment to study cell-cell interactions.

    The research team at Evercyte has therefore established a panel of 2D and 3D cultures of synoviocytes and chondrocytes, derived respectively from human synovial membrane and cartilage tissue. These include 3D chondrocyte cultures from 3D differentiated telomerized human adipose tissue-derived mesenchymal stromal cell line ASC/TERT1.

    These can be used unstimulated to model (healthy) cartilage condition or stimulated with IL-1β/TNF-α to reproduce inflamed conditions, simulating OA.

    These synoviocytes and chondrocytes can be treated with different therapeutics of interest, such as EVs derived from MSC isolated from different organs and tissues (e.g., adipose tissue, bone marrow, Wharton’s jelly) or small molecules to test the regenerative, anti-inflammatory, proliferative and anti-fibrotic potential of therapies, upon cellularly stimulated OA.

    Standardized bioassays

    The Evercyte range of chondrocyte and synoviocyte cell cultures forms a panel of in vitro test cells for versatile OA-related bioassays and cell culture experiments that offer a number of user benefits:

    • Standardized protocols for cell culture and treatment
    • Excellent data quality assured
    • Customer-derived samples handled by experienced cell biologists with more than 25 years’ experience with primary/telomerized cells and MSCs
    • Fast process using pre-established techniques, with all assays performed promptly upon request
    • Testing services use cells, techniques and reagents established by Evercyte and readily available in-house.


    1. Vonk, L.A., van Dooremalen, S.F.J., Liv, N., Klumperman, J., Coffer, P.J., Saris, D.B.F. and Lorenowicz, M.J. (2018). Mesenchymal Stromal/stem Cell-derived Extracellular Vesicles Promote Human Cartilage Regeneration In Vitro. Theranostics, 8(4), pp.906–920. doi :


    Click on Evercyte human cells as in vitro test systems for further information.
    Click on Evercyte assay-ready cell establishment for further information.
    Click on Evercyte drug screening services  for further information.

    Evercyte synoviocyte and chondrocyte bioassays target osteoarthritis

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