New synthetic 3D culture systems to unlock the future of organoids in research and therapy
1 Sep 2017

Ever since the times of Aristotle and Galen, human beings have been fascinated by the intricate mechanisms that govern the biology of the human body. The vast complexity of nature, however, has made it challenging to unravel the minute mysteries that govern how organisms develop and function. Today, we are at the dawn of the era of organoids, which potentially hold the ability to revolutionize our understanding of tissue and disease development as well as to open the door to personalized medical treatments.

Organoids are miniature organ-like structures that are grown in vitro in 3D environments. They are derived from one or few cells extracted from a tissue, and when cultured ex vivo in appropriate conditions, they self-organize and grow to adopt key structural and functional properties of the target organ. Since they can be generated from patient biopsies, organoids capture many of the specific disease features of the patient – something that traditional cell culture techniques often struggle to accomplish. That is why 3D organoid culture is considered one of the most exciting advances in the life sciences.

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