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Chelsea Bahney Ph.D.

Vascularized bone regeneration

Chelsea Bahney Ph.D.

There remains an unmet clinical need to develop improved strategies for vascularized bone regeneration.  In the laboratory we are focused on generating novel therapeutic strategies for bone regeneration by taking a “developmental engineering” approach. By studying the molecular mechanisms of development and repair we have discovered that cartilage transdifferentiates into bone during endochondral ossification. Mechanistically this is important because the previously held dogma was that hypertrophic cartilage undergoes apoptosis and is replaced by bone that forms from ectopically derived osteoprogenitors cells. Clinically this is important because it opens a number of new pathways for bone regeneration by focusing on methods to promote conversion of cartilage to bone.

The laboratory takes a cross-disciplinary approach to understanding and stimulating endochondral bone repair. We use in vitro stem cell culture and clinically relevant in vivo models to study chondrogenesis, osteogenesis and transdifferentiation.  Based on the molecular insight we gain from these models we utilize hydrogel scaffolds to deliver cells and/or drug targets to promote endochondral bone regeneration.

Current projects in the lab are:

  1. Engineered cartilage grafts to promote bone regeneration
  2. Cartilage to bone transdifferentiation during endochondral fracture repair
  3. Therapeutic modulation of fracture healing  
  4. Role of the nerve during fracture repair
  5. Molecular mechanisms of accelerated fracture healing during polytrauma


Selected publications:

Bahney CS, Bruder S, Cain JD, Keyak J, Killian M, Shapiro I, Jones LC. Accelerating the pace of discovery in orthopaedic surgery: A vision towards team science. J Orthop Res. 2016 May 24. doi: 10.1002/jor.23307.

Almubarak S, Nethercott H, Freeberg M, Beaudon C, Jha A, Jackson W, Marcucio R, Healy KE, Bahney CS. Tissue Engineering Strategies for Promoting Vascularized Bone Regeneration. Bone. (2015) Nov 19;83:197-209. doi: 10.1016/j.bone.2015.11.011

Bahney CS, Jacobs L, Tamai R, Hu DP, Wang M, Park M, Limburg S, Kim HT, Marcucio, RS, Kuo AC. Promoting endochondral bone repair using osteoarthritic human articular chondrocytes. Tissue Engineering Part A. 2016 Mar;22(5-6):427-35. doi: 10.1089/ten.TEA.2014.0705.

Bahney CS, Hu D, Miclau T, Marcucio R. The multifaceted role of the vasculature in endochondral fracture repair. Frontiers in Endocrinology 6: 4. DOI:10.3389/fendo.2015.00004

Song S, Kim EJ, Bahney CS, Miclau T, Marcucio RS, Roy S. The synergistic effect of micro-topography and biochemical culture environment to promote angiogenesis and osteogenic differentiation of human mesenchymal stem cells. Acta Biomaterialia. Acta Biomater May 18 2015

Bahney CS, Hu DP, Taylor AJ, Ferro F, Britz, HM, Hallgrimsson B, Johnstone B, Miclau T, Marcucio RS. Stem cell derived endochondral cartilage stimulates bone healing by tissue transformation. Journal of Bone and Mineral Density (JBMR), 2013 DOI: 10.1002/jbmr.2148.

Bahney CS & Miclau T. Therapeutic Potential of Stem Cells in Orthopaedics. (2012) Indian Journal of Orthopaedics, Vol 46, Issue 1, Jan-Feb.

Bahney CS, Lujan TJ, Hsu CW, Bottlang M, West JL, Johnstone B. Visible light photoinitiation of mesenchymal stem cell-laden bioresponsive hydrogels. eCM Journal, Vol 22 2011, pages 43-55

Bahney CS, Hsu CW, West JL and Johnstone B. A bioresponsive hydrogel tuned to chondrogenesis of human mesenchymal stem cells. FASEB Journal, February 3 2011.

Buxton A*, Bahney CS*, Yoo JU, Johnstone B. (*co-first authors) Influence of cell density and bioactive factors on the chondrogenesis of human mesenchymal stem cells in hydrogels. Tis Eng Part A, August 29 2010.