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Organoids are 3D tissue/organ models derived from stem cells and other supporting co-cultured cells such as epithelial cells. When cultivated appropriately, the differentiating stem cells have the ability to self-organize into organ-like tissue and exhibit some organ function. Organoids make stable, physiologically relevant models and are amenable to long-term cultivation.
|Cat. No.||Product Name / Activity|
|Commonly used as 3D growth matrix component and additive for long-term organoid growth|
|Component of base media|
|Commonly used in multiple stages of organoid generation|
|Highly potent and selective ROCK 2 inhibitor; improves cell survival after cryogeneisis|
|3D Growth matrix component and component of cerebral organoid differentiation media|
|Fluorescent retinoic acid analog; solvochromatic probe|
|Used in the generation of liver organoids.|
|3D Growth matrix component used in liver organoid generation|
|ALK4 and ALK5 (TGFβRI) inhibitor; component of growth media for urothelial organoids|
|3006||Gastrin I (human)|
|Used in the culture of stomach and liver organoids; CCK2 receptor agonist|
|2812||Heparin sodium salt|
|Used in protocol to generate kidney organoids|
|Component of heart organoid differentiation media|
|Component of heart organoid differentiation media|
|Component of neocortex differentiation media|
|6053||LDN 193189 dihydrochloride|
|Component of brain organoid differentiation media|
|Commonly used as 3D growth matrix components and additive for long-term growth|
|Base media component used in ear organoid generation|
|3D Growth matrix component used in liver and prostate organoid generation|
|3D Growth matrix component used in kidney organoid generation; also a component of brain organoid differentiation media|
|Promotes differentiation of urothelial organoids; potent and selective PPARγ agonist|
|3D Growth matrix component and additive for long term growth; also component of gastric organoid culture media|
|3D Growth matrix component; also component of brain and blood vessel organoid differentiation media|
|3D Growth matrix component used in prostate organoid generation|
|Commonly used as 3D growth matrix component; also a component of brain organoid differentiation media|
Organoids are cultured from adult stem cells or from cells differentiated from pluripotent stem cells, self-organized through cell sorting (see image below). Different types of cells arrange themselves based on the distinct expression profiles of cellular adhesion molecules and spatially restricted lineage commitment. Spatially constraining cells in tissue or artificial conditions promotes further differentiation of stem cells and is crucial in the generation of organoids. In the laboratory, lineage commitment is most commonly encouraged using the biological scaffolds derived from Engelbreth-Holm-Swarm (EHS) mouse sarcoma cells (i.e. Cultrex® Basement Membrane Extracts). These scaffolds provide environmental cues such as growth factors, which encourage cells to attach and form organoid structures.
Small molecules are increasingly being used to grow and maintain organoids, due to their ease of use, efficacy and specificity. In addition, they are chemically defined with low lot-to-lot variability and high purity.
Figure 1 Image shows the three main stages of organoid genesis: differentiation, cell sorting and spatially restricted lineage commitment.Organoids have three defining characteristics:
Human iPSCs have been derived from patients with diseases such as cardiomyopathy and Parkinson's disease and cultivated into organoids. These disease model organoids provide the most relevant model systems for studying disease states and have potential to improve the efficiency of drug discovery. In addition to disease modeling, organoids are useful research tools in developmental biology, personalized medicine, organ replacement therapy and toxicology screening.
As of 2019, scientists have produced many types of organoids including brain, pancreas, heart, lung, small intestine, liver, optic cup and cancer organoids. Figure 2 provides an overview of the steps involved in organoid genesis using a cerebral organoid as an example (see below). Visit our organoid protocols page for a more detailed look at this and other organoid protocols.
Figure 2: Snapshot of cerebral organoid genesis protocol. Adapted from Lancaster et al. 2013 Cerebral organoids model human brain development and microcephaly. Nature 501. 373. PMID: 23995685. Visit our protocols page for more details.
Visit our sister brand R&D systems for comprehensive Organoid Resources including Organoid Generation Recipes.
Tocris offers the following scientific literature for Organoids to showcase our products. We invite you to request* your copy today!
*Please note that Tocris will only send literature to established scientific business / institute addresses.
Written by Kirsty E. Clarke, Victoria B. Christie, Andy Whiting and Stefan A. Przyborski, this review provides an overview of the use of small molecules in the control of stem cell growth and differentiation. Key signaling pathways are highlighted, and the regulation of ES cell self-renewal and somatic cell reprogramming is discussed. Compounds available from Tocris are listed.
Stem cells have potential as a source of cells and tissues for research and treatment of disease. This poster summarizes some key protocols demonstrating the use of small molecules across the stem cell workflow, from reprogramming, through self-renewal, storage and differentiation to verification. Advantages of using small molecules are also highlighted.