eCM (Eur Cell Mater / e Cells & Materials) Not-for-Profit Open Access
Created by Scientists, for Scientists
 ISSN:1473-2262         NLM:100973416 (link)         DOI:10.22203/eCM

2013   Volume No 26 – pages 91-106

Title: A new take on an old story: chick limb organ culture for skeletal niche development and regenerative medicine evaluation

Author: EL Smith, JM Kanczler, ROC Oreffo

Address: Bone and Joint Research Group, Centre for Human Development, Stem Cells and Regeneration, Human Development and Health, Institute of Developmental Sciences, University of Southampton Medical School, Southampton SO16 6YD, U.K.

E-mail: E.L.Smith at

Key Words: Chick limb organotypic culture; ex vivo model; embryonic femur; micro-computed tomography; osteogenesis; chondrogenesis; chorioallantoic membrane assay; bone development and regeneration.

Publication date: September 11th 2013

Abstract: Scientific research and progress, particularly in the drug discovery and regenerative medicine fields, is typically dependent on suitable animal models to develop new and improved clinical therapies for injuries and diseases. In vivo model systems are frequently utilised, but these models are expensive, highly complex and pose a number of ethical considerations leading to the development and use of a number of alternative ex vivo model systems. The ex vivo embryonic chick long bone and limb bud models have been utilised in the scientific research field as a model to understand skeletal development for over eighty years. The rapid development of avian skeletal tissues, coupled with the ease of experimental manipulation, availability of genome sequence and the presence of multiple cell and tissue types has seen such model systems gain significant research interest in the last few years in the tissue engineering field. The models have been explored both as systems for understanding the developmental bone niche and as potential testing tools for tissue engineering strategies for bone repair and regeneration. This review details the evolution of the chick limb organ culture system and presents recent innovative developments and emerging techniques and technologies applied to these models that are aiding our understanding of skeletal developmental and regenerative medicine research and application.

Article download: Pages 91-106 (PDF file)
DOI: 10.22203/eCM.v026a07

Supplementary file (wmv): Video1