The body in miniature

Cambridge research groups growing mini-livers, mini-brains, mini-oesophaguses, mini-lungs and other organs are helping to transform biomedical research.
Human primary liver cancer-derived organoids as a new tool for disease modeling and drug screening.

In Cambridge alone, there are groups growing mini-livers, mini-brains, mini-oesophaguses,mini-bile ducts, mini-lungs, mini-intestines, mini-wombs, mini-pancreases… Almost the whole body in miniature, it seems.

Read more about how these remarkable 'organoids' are helping transform biomedical research - including helping reduce the number of animals used in research.

The past few years has seen an explosion in the number of studies using organoids – so-called ‘mini organs’. While they can help scientists understand human biology and disease, some in the field have questioned their usefulness. But as the field matures, we could see their increasing use in personalised and regenerative medicine.

 

Confocal microscope image of gastruloid

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20 Mar 2018