Models of osteoarthritis: the good, the bad and the promising

P. J. Cope, K. Ourradi, Y. Li, M. Sharif*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article (Academic Journal)peer-review

159 Citations (Scopus)
337 Downloads (Pure)


Osteoarthritis (OA) is a chronic degenerative disease of diarthroidal joints most commonly affecting people over the age of forty. The causes of OA are still unknown and there is much debate in the literature as to the exact sequence of events that trigger the onset of the heterogeneous disease we recognise as OA.
There is currently no consensus model for OA that naturally reflects human disease. Existing ex-vivo models do not incorporate the important inter-tissue communication between joint components required for disease progression and differences in size, anatomy, histology and biomechanics between different animal models makes translation to the human model very difficult. This narrative review highlights the advantages and disadvantages of the current models used to study OA. It discusses the challenges of producing a more reliable OA-model and proposes a direction for the development of a consensus model that reflects the natural environment of human OA.
We suggest that a human osteochondral plugs-based model may overcome many of the fundamental limitations associated with animal and in-vitro models based on isolated cells. Such a model will also provide a platform for the development and testing of targeted treatment and validation of novel OA markers directly on human tissues.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)230-239
Number of pages10
JournalOsteoarthritis and Cartilage
Issue number2
Early online date25 Oct 2018
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2019


  • osteochondral plugs
  • Osteoarthritis
  • ex-vivo model
  • in-vivo model


Dive into the research topics of 'Models of osteoarthritis: the good, the bad and the promising'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this