Osteocytes are bone cells that are formed from osteoblasts (bone-forming cells) during the process of bone formation. They are the most common type of cell found in bone and are responsible for maintaining the structure and health of bone tissue. Osteocytes play a key role in maintaining the balance between bone formation and bone resorption, and they also help to detect and respond to changes in mechanical stress on the bone.

In regenerative medicine, osteocytes are of great interest as they are known to have the ability to differentiate into osteoblasts, which can then form new bone tissue. This means that osteocytes may be a useful source of cells for regenerating damaged or lost bone tissue, such as in the case of osteoporosis, fractures, and other bone diseases.

Osteocyte-derived cells (ODC) are known to be involved in promoting the formation of new blood vessels, osteogenic (bone-forming) differentiation and mineralization, which are all important for bone repair. Osteocyte-derived extracellular vesicles (EVs) also play role in bone healing as they can modulate osteoblast/osteoclast differentiation, recruitment and function.

Researchers are currently investigating ways to use osteocytes and their derivatives in cell-based therapies, tissue engineering, and other regenerative medicine approaches to treat bone diseases and injuries

Acorn has successfully differentiated banked follicle cells into osteocytes and are looking forward to potential uses in regenerative medicine applications.