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3D Environment and Vascularization in Osteogenesis

A new STEM CELLS Translational Medicine study from Patrizia Ferretti (UCL Institute of Child Health, London, UK) and Amel Ibrahim (NYU College of Dentistry, New York, NY, USA) tested the hypothesis that by reproducing the physical and biochemical bone microenvironment through the use of three‐dimensional (3D) culture and vascularization, one can enhance osteogenic maturation in human adipose‐derived stem cells (hASCs). The authors' findings demonstrate the critical role of vascularization and 3D culture in driving osteogenic maturation of cells readily available but constitutively less committed to this lineage. Furthermore, they suggest a crucial avenue for recreating the bone microenvironment for tissue engineering of mature craniofacial bone tissues from pediatric hASCs, as well as bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells and osteoprogenitor cells.