Rebuilding ‘Mini-Organs’ in a Dish
Walter and Eliza Hall Institute
1g Royal Parade, Parkville
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In recent years, the advent of innovative methods to rebuild ‘mini-organs’ or organoids in vitro has provided exciting new possibilities to study tissue development and diseases. The laboratory of Prof. H. Clevers (Hubrecht Institute, Utrecht, the Netherlands) has pioneered this methodology for intestinal stem cells and showed that a single stem cell could form 3D structures that recapitulated features of normal tissue architecture. This organoid system was subsequently adapted for a variety of other organs including the liver, prostate, brain and pancreas. An increasing number of patient-derived organoid biobanks of normal or diseased (e.g. tumour) tissue are being generated, providing a platform for drug discovery and development of therapies tailored to the individual.
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