Organoids are a powerful new enabling technology in drug discovery and personalised medicine and regenerative medicine.
An organoid is a 3D multi-cell structure that, when grown in vitro, shows realistic micro-anatomy. Organoids retain multiple features of the normal tissue and disease states associated with the tissues from which they were derived. They are grown from stem cells, cultured within a gel matrix in a bioreactor system and fed with tailored growth factors.
Organoids exhibit complex in-vivo functions; breast cells produce milk proteins, kidney cells transport salt and water, hepatocytes express metabolic enzymes, cancer cells invade.
Organoids are superior to 2D cell line cultures as they retain the tissue structure and heterogeneous cell composition of an organ. Organoids are also superior other 3D approaches that do not offer this heterogeneous cell composition.
Because organoids are closer to tissue structure than other available tools, they give more accurate test results. Using organoids, drug companies can pick ‘winners’ earlier and weed out ‘losers’ before incurring high development costs.
Up to now, the growing of 3D organoids has been a laborious manual process with uncontrolled variability – subject to human error and volume constraints – and therefore largely confined to the research laboratory. The growing of organoids must be scaled-up and made robust before the approach can be used widely in industrial and clinical applications.
Cellesce has built and validated a scalable process for the expansion of organoids, free from these constraints. We have a patent application pending on this invention.