As the incidence of osteoarthritis increased over the last years, development of new therapeutic approaches for osteochondral regeneration come into the focus of tissue engineering research. Besides conventional therapies using patient derived chondrocytes, stem cells became a promising cell source for cartilage repair due to their modulatory properties. But besides benefits of stem cell usage, also drawbacks occurred such as rejection of the cells after transplantation into the defect, teratoma formation or low differentiation capability of stem cells into the desired tissue. To circumvent these limitations, establishment of cell free approaches which comprise desired properties of stem cells are needed. Extracellular vesicles represent a novel mechanism by which signals are communicated among different cell types leading to cellular responses due to their cargo (e.g. proteins, lipids, mRNA,miRNA). It has already been described that extracellular vesicles isolated from body fluids as well as from cell conditioned media are potent mediators of therapeutic signals playing a role in a vast number of diseases including cancer, ischemia, sepsis, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis among others. The focus of this project lies in evaluating the therapeutic potential of extracellular vesicles isolated from mesenchymal stem cells derived from the Hoffa´s fat pad on processes occurring during osteoarthritis (extracellular matrix degradation, inflammation). The Hoffa´s fat pad is located intra articularly behind and under the patellar. Due to its proximity to the cartilage, mesenchymal stem cells from this adipose tissue are more involved in the development and progression of osteoarthritis as mesenchymal stem cells derived from bone marrow which are often used for cartilage regeneration studies. In addition, the impact of blood derived products on Hoffa´s fat pad mesenchymal stem cells and their extracellular vesicles will be evaluated. Blood derived products such as platelet rich plasma (PRP) are often used in orthopedics with outstanding therapeutic efficacy. Utilization of the two blood derived products PRP and hyperacute serum as a cell culture supplement in order to replace conventionally used animal serum will also aid in translating findings obtained from cell culture experiments from bench to bedside.

Cooperation partners


Duration 01/03/2020 - 28/02/2023
Funding Bundesländer (inkl. deren Stiftungen und Einrichtungen)
Program Life Science Call NFB

Department for Health Sciences, Medicine and Research

Center for Regenerative Medicine

Principle investigator for the project (University for Continuing Education Krems) Assistenz Prof. Mag. Andrea De Luna, PhD



Otahal, A.; De Luna, A.; Mobasheri, A.; Nehrer, S. (2023). Extracellular Vesicle Isolation and Characterization for Applications in Cartilage Tissue Engineering and Osteoarthritis Therapy. In: Humana Press, Cartilage Tissue Engineering: 123-140, Springer Protocols, United States of America

De Luna, A.; Otahal, A.; Nehrer, S. (2020). Mesenchymal Stromal Cell-Derived Extracellular Vesicles - Silver Linings for Cartilage Regeneration? Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology, 8:593386: 10.3389/fcell.2020.593386


Extracellular vesicles in blood derived products

ICRS Word Congress, 12/01/2023

Polybrene enhances uptake of extracellular vesicles derived from Hoffa mesenchymal stromal cells into primary osteoarthritic chondrocytes

Small New World Joint Meeting of ASEV & GSEV, 29/10/2022

Extracellular vesicles from blood derived products for cartilage repair

ASEV/GSEV Joint Meeting, 28/10/2022

Functional repertoire of EV-associated miRNA profiles from blood-derived products

48th Annual ESAO Congress, 10/09/2022

Extracellular Vesicles in Blood-Derived Products for Cartilage Repair? - a status report

Annual Meeting of the Austrian Cluster of Tissue Regeneration, 27/04/2022

Association of regenerative capacity of blood EVs on primary osteoarthritic chondrocytes with EV associated miRNAs

ICRS 2022 World Congress Berlin, 14/04/2022

Extracellular Vesicles in Blood-Derived Products for Cartilage Repair

ICRS Word Congress, 14/04/2022

Extracellular vesicle-associated miRNA cargo could explain regenerative capacities of blood-derived extracellular vesicles on primary osteoarthritic chondrocytes

OARSI 2022 World Congress, 08/04/2022

Evidenz zum Einsatz der regenerativen Medizin?

38. AGA Kongress, 10/09/2021

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