The Ex Vivo Organ Culture of Bone

  • Katherine A. Staines
  • Genevieve Brown
  • Colin FarquharsonEmail author
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 1914)


The ex vivo organ culture of bone provides many of the advantages of both the whole organism and isolated cell strategies and can deliver valuable insight into the network of processes and activities that are fundamental to bone and cartilage biology. Through maintaining the bone and/or cartilage cells in their native environment, this model system provides the investigator with a powerful experimental protocol to address specific facets of skeletal growth and development. In this chapter, we outline the basic protocols and possible readouts of organ culture models to replicate; (a) linear bone growth (murine metatarsal culture model), (b) bone and cartilage metabolism (murine femoral head culture model), (c) bone response to mechanical stimulation (bovine trabecular core culture model), and (d) bone resorption and formation (murine calvaria culture model).

Key words

Metatarsal Calvaria Femoral head Trabecular core Organ culture 



We are grateful to the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) for Institute Strategic Programme Grant Funding (CF) BB/J004316/1; BBS/E/D/20221657.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Katherine A. Staines
    • 1
  • Genevieve Brown
    • 2
  • Colin Farquharson
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.School of Applied SciencesEdinburgh Napier UniversityEdinburghUK
  2. 2.Department of Biomedical EngineeringColumbia UniversityNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.Roslin Institute and R(D)SVSThe University of EdinburghEdinburghUK

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