cod. 1000251

Academic year 2013/14
1° year of course - Second semester
Academic discipline
Patologia generale e anatomia patologica veterinaria (VET/03)
Discipline veterinarie e riproduzione animale
Type of training activity
40 hours
of face-to-face activities
5 credits
hub: -
course unit
in - - -

Learning objectives

The students will acquire fundamentals and up-to-date account of the current knowledge in biology (chondrogenesis, metabolism, chondocyte differentiatoin) and pathophysiology (cartilage degeneration) of articular cartilage tissue focusing on the application of these issues for cartilage repairing in vivo.
With a practical approach during the lab classes the students will acquire a core professional training in primary cell culture methods and techniques and also they will acquire capacity to apply systems to culture articular chondrocytes, to maintain chondrocyte differentiation in vitro and to evaluate the biocompatibility of three-dimensional scaffold of biomaterials.


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Course unit content

Osteochondrogenesis (Module A) 5 CFU
Lecturer: Prof. Paolo Borghetti (VET/03)
[4 CFU of theoretical lessons (28 hours) + 1 CFU of lab activity (12 hours)]

A) Theory:
Anatomy , histology and biomechanics of articular joints. Structure, biology and metabolism of the articular cartilage. The molecular basis of chondrocyte differentiation and chondrogenesis. Pathogenesis of osteoarthritis and physiopathology of the tissue cartilage metabolism. Cartilage repairing and tissue engineering: in vitro chondrocyte differentiation and induction of chondrogenesis, chondrocyte transplantation (ACT, Mesenchimal Stem Cells) biomaterial and cartilage repairing.
B) Laboratory activity:
1) Isolation of chondrocytes from articular cartilage tissue; 2) Adhesion and be- and three-dimensional models of primary chondrocyte culture; 3) The evaluation of biocompatibility of three-dimensional scaffolds of biomaterials; 4)Techniques to evaluate the differentiation of articular chondrocytes in culture.

Full programme


Molecular and cellular mechanisms of chondrogenesis. Histology and molecular structure of the articular cartilage and the joint components. Molecular basis of chondogenesis.
Pathogenetic mechanisms of the cartilage degeneration and damage during osteoarthritis. The repair of the articular cartilage. Biotechnologiy for cartilage rigeneration and repair:
1) chondrocyte culture for espansion and differentiation in vitro;
2) Autologous Chondrocyte Transplantation;
3) Stem cells application;

Biomaterials for chondrocyte growth and adaptation and cartilage repair: evaluation of biocompatibility.

1) Isolation and culture of articular chondrocytes;
2) Culture system for chondrogenesis and the maintainance of chondrocyte differentiation in vitro (be- ands three dimensional sustems application);
3) Molecular tecniques for the evaluation of chondrocyte differentiation.


1) Scientific reviews on the topics of the course; 2) Teaching materials from theoretical lessons; 3) Lab experimental protocols provided during lab activity.
All teaching material is available on-line.

Teaching methods

Classroom theoretical lectures (28 hours) by means Power Point presentations and practice in a biological laboratory (12 hours).
For the practical activity the organization in different days and in small groups will allow each student to operate directly and independently for the application of experimental protocols of chondrocyte culture.

Assessment methods and criteria

The final exam consist in oral examination based on one or two questions about the theoretical contens and also on the acquired knowledge during the experimental protocols done in lab activity.
The result of the examination will be dependent to both answers and on their global evaluation.


Other information

The teacher is at students disposal for further explanations on the contents, during the course and for exam's preparation, for the orientation to the study plan, to the internship and the thesis, the reception is possible for students from Monday to Friday prior agreements via-email.