Cells and matrix

Cortical and cancellous bone tissue consists of cells in a mineralised matrix. All skeletal cells differentiate from a common precursor cell pool: the mesenchymal stem cells of the embryo (Figure 7.3). Mechanical stimuli influence the mode of stem cell differentiation and the resulting tissue type. Manipulation and control of stem cell differentiation holds considerable promise in the field of tissue engineering and is receiving much commercial and ethical attention. In addition to precursor cells, three principal cell types are present in bone: osteoblasts, osteocytes, and osteoclasts (Figure 7.2(b)). Osteoblasts are active bone-forming cells. All bone surfaces are covered by a single layer of precursor cells and resting osteogenesis

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