The scientific research journal dedicated to publishing high impact methods and tools for laboratory researchers, Nature Methods, has chosen organoids as Method of the Year 2017 in their last issue, for their immense potential as tools to study human biology in health and disease.
Organoids in short
An organoid is a miniaturised and simplified version of an organ produced in vitro in three dimensions that shows realistic micro-anatomy. Organoid systems are derived from one or a few tissue cells, embryonic stem cells or induced pluripotent stem cells.
What makes them so interesting is their ability to self-organise in three-dimensional culture thanks to their self-renewal and differentiation capacities. In short, they can model important features of whole organs.
The development of organoid culture systems for a variety of tissues has been one of the most exciting advances in stem cell research of the past decade. After years of searching for a way to create three-dimensional cells, organoids are now used to mimic several organs such as, brain, kidney, liver, pancreas, …
A specific cure for a specific patient
Organoids are indeed a powerful tool to understand human biology and to investigate diseases. In fact, some human diseases can be difficult to simulate through animal models. When trying to heal a patient, drugs can be tested on an organoid model which will have genetic similarities as the patient himself if the stem cells used are his. This process is actually being currently used for the treatment of cystic fibrosis.
Use of organoids in the LSFM4LIFE project
The aim of LSFM4LIFE is the isolation and therapeutic-scale manufacture of human pancreas organoids (hPO) for the cellular therapy of type 1 diabetes. One of the main objectives of the project is producing long-term renewing, human pancreatic organoids (hPO) lines and assessing their genetic stability and in vivo safety. The pancreas organoids, are grown from adult stem cells. This method has been established in 2013 by Dr Mexitxell Huch, partner in the project.
Wikipedia. Organoid. [view february 20th 2018]
Shelley Farrar Stoakes, MSc, BSc Reviewed by Afsaneh Khetrapal Bsc (Hons). What are Organoids?. News Medical Life Science, february 15th 2018, [view february 20th 2018] http://bit.ly/2sELYvt
Nature Methods, ISSN 1548-7105 (online). Method of the Year 2017: Organoids. 03 January 2018, [view february 20th 2018]
STEMCELL™ Technologies. Organoids: a revolution in in vitro mammalian cell culture. Feb 14, 2018, [view february 20th 2018]