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Modular Approach Found To Improve The Consistency Of Organoids

Researchers have used a modular approach to build more useful organoids. Organoids are very small balls of living human cells that have grown to resemble in some ways the human brain.

Modular Approach Found To Improve The Consistency Of Organoids

Modular approach to omprove the consistency

HIGHLIGHTS

  1. A modular approach to build more useful organoids
  2. Organoids suffer from inconsistencies
  3. The researchers plan to continue their research
A team of researchers working at the Yale Stem Cell Center from U.S. and Australia report that they have succeeded in improving the usefulness of organoids. The study was published in the journal Cell Stem Cell. The team describes their work using a modular approach to build more useful organoids. Organoids are very small balls of living human cells that have resemble in some ways the human brain. They are grown for research purposes and get their start with stem cells. Unfortunately, as the researchers note, getting the organoids to grow in useful ways has proved to be extremely challenging.

Since 2013, when the first organoid was created by Madeline Lancaster, many other organoids have been created by other teams, but they all suffer from inconsistencies each organoid is different from every other.

In this new effort, the researchers have taken a new approach-growing smaller, more functionally oriented sub-organoids and then fusing them together to create a whole organoid that is more consistent.

The new approach is based on prior research yielding the creation of the more functional sub-organoids. One of them mimics a human medial ganglionic eminence (MGE). Its purpose is to produce inhibitory neurons that play a role in normal human brain development. Another sub-organoid was designed to play the role of the cortex.

The researchers report that the two sub-organoids who grew together after initial formation resulted in the two fusing together, forming one larger organoid. But more importantly, they found that inhibitory interneurons that had grown in the MGE migrated to the cortex and mixed with its network, mimicking action in the real brain.

The researchers plan to continue their research, building other types of sub-organoids to see if their approach can lead to better organoids overall. They believe that there is still a long way to go as organoids are still not shaped properly, nor do they grow blood vessels or other brain tissue. They also do not have glial cells, which means they have no white matter.

The work will continue because the payoff could be enormous the development of a powerful tool for studying how the brain works and possibly testing medicines to treat brain ailments.

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