The development of 3D in vitro tissue models for chronic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis is focused on the investigation of cellular interaction in the pathogenesis of those conditions. The models allow establishment of standardized drug screening tests to analyze the effects of drugs and various biological agents.
The in vitro model we developed for rheumatoid arthritis (“pannus model”) consists of interactive 3D co-cultures of chondrocytes and rheumatoid arthritis synovial cell cultures. This “pannus model” mimics the destruction of cartilage, making it possible to study arthritis-relevant cell populations under in vitro conditions.
Based on our in vitro “pannus model”, we are enhancing a test system aimed at high-throughput screening of anti-rheumatic candidate drugs (which also reduces the need for animal experiments).