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Encyclopedia 2023, 3(2), 622-641;

Primary chondroprogenitors obtained from standardized cell sources (e.g., FE002 clinical grade cell sources) may be cultured in vitro and may be cytotherapeutically applied in allogeneic musculoskeletal regenerative medicine. Multicentric translational research on FE002 human primary chondroprogenitors under the Swiss progenitor cell transplantation program has notably validated their robustness and high versatility for therapeutic formulation in clinically compatible prototypes, as well as a good safety profile in diverse in vivo preclinical models. Therein, stringently controlled primary cell source establishment and extensive cell manufacturing optimization have technically confirmed the adequation of FE002 primary chondroprogenitors with standard industrial biotechnology workflows for consistent diploid cell biobanking under GMP. Laboratory characterization studies and extensive qualification work on FE002 progenitor cell sources have elucidated the key and critical attributes of the cellular materials of interest for potential and diversified human cytotherapeutic uses. Multiple formulation studies (i.e., hydrogel-based standardized transplants, polymeric-scaffold-based tissue engineering products) have shown the high versatility of FE002 primary chondroprogenitors, for the obtention of functional allogeneic cytotherapeutics. Multiple in vivo preclinical studies (e.g., rodent models, GLP goat model) have robustly documented the safety of FE002 primary chondroprogenitors following implantation. Clinically, FE002 primary chondroprogenitors may potentially be used in various forms for volumetric tissue replacement (e.g., treatment of large chondral/osteochondral defects of the knee) or for the local management of chondral affections and pathologies (i.e., injection use in mild to moderate osteoarthritis cases). Overall, standardized FE002 primary chondroprogenitors as investigated under the Swiss progenitor cell transplantation program were shown to constitute tangible contenders in novel human musculoskeletal regenerative medicine approaches, for versatile and safe allogeneic clinical cytotherapeutic management. 

Encyclopedia 2023, 3(2), 642-664;

Chytridiomycota (zoosporic true fungi) have a consistent presence in soils and have been frequently identified within many diverse terrestrial environments. However, Chytridiomycota and other early-diverging fungi have low representation in whole-genome sequencing databases compared to Dikarya. New molecular techniques have provided insights into the diversity and abundance of chytrids in soils and the changes in their populations both spatially and temporally. Chytrids complete their life cycle within rapidly changing soil environments where they may be more common within micropores due to protection from predation, desiccation, and extreme temperatures. Reproductive and morphological changes occur in response to environmental changes including pH, fluctuating nutrient concentrations, and metals at levels above toxic thresholds. Rhizoids share some features of hyphae, including the spatial regulation of branching and the ability to attach, adapt to, and proliferate in different substrates, albeit on a microscale. Soil chytrids provide a pool of novel enzymes and proteins which enable a range of lifestyles as saprotrophs or parasites, but also can be utilised as alternative tools with some biotechnological applications. Thus, 3D live-cell imaging and micromodels such as MicroCT may provide insight into zoospore functions and rhizoid plasticity, respectively, in response to various conditions. A combination of classical techniques of soil chytrid baiting with simultaneous molecular and ecological data will provide insights into temporal population changes in response to environmental change. The authors emphasise the need to review and improve DNA-based methodologies for identifying and quantifying chytrids within the soil microbiome to expand our knowledge of their taxonomy, abundance, diversity, and functionality within soil environments.

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