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Single-cell Profiling of Bone Forming Progenitor Cells

While attaining a critical number of in vitro expanded progenitor cells provides the key driving force in a cell‐based regenerative construct, the standard expansion protocols currently employed affect the initial cellular phenotype due to a focus on rapid expansion and not maintenance of progenitor potential. Now, researchers led by Frank P. Luyten (KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium) describe a serum‐free preconditioning regime of in vitro expanded human periosteum‐derived cells that lead to a progenitor cell with enhanced in vivo bone-forming capacity at the single-cell level. Reporting in STEM CELLS Translational Medicine, Bolander et al. demonstrate how an adapted cellular metabolism and activation of pathways and transcriptional regulators involved in bone development and fracture healing associated with this phenotype shift, thereby illustrating the importance of appropriate in vitro conditions for in vivo outcomes.