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. View all organoid resources available from Bio-Techne.

Literature (4)


Cat. No. Product Name / Activity
7991 CEPT Cocktail Kit
Cell culture supplement for improving stem cell survival
7390 Tissue Clearing Pro-Organoid
3D cell culture clearing reagent kit


Cat. No. Product Name / Activity
7340 Tocriscreen Stem Cell Library
A library of 120 stem cell compounds (100 μL 10 mM DMSO solutions) to explore stem cell reprogramming, differentiation, proliferation and signaling


Cat. No. Product Name / Activity
2939 A 83-01
Commonly used as 3D growth matrix component and additive for long-term organoid growth
5758 AGN 193109
Promotes the differentiation from mouse embryonic stem cells into paraxial mesoderm, used for retinal and kidney organoids
0760 AM 580
Promotes the reprogramming of somatic cells to induced pluripotent stem cells, used for kidney organoids
4055 L-Ascorbic acid
Antioxidant used for neuronal and pancreatic organoids generation
2837 BDNF (human)
Improves the functional maturation of neurons in the neuronal organoids
4423 CHIR 99021
Commonly used in multiple stages of organoid generation
7163 Chroman 1
Highly potent and selective ROCK 2 inhibitor; improves cell survival after cryogenesis
6476 Compound E
γ-secretase and notch patchway inhibitor, for neuronal and pancreatic organoids
2634 DAPT
3D Growth matrix component and component of cerebral organoid differentiation media
4489 DBZ
Improves efficiency of iPSC generation and production of iPSCs from mouse and human keratinocytes, used for neuronal, gastrointestinal organoids
6873 DC 271
Fluorescent retinoic acid analog; solvochromatic probe
1126 Dexamethasone
Used in the generation of liver organoids.
3093 Dorsomorphin dihydrochloride
Promotes cardiomyogenesis in mouse ESCs in vitro and promotes neural differentiation of hPSCs as part of a chemical cocktail, used for kidney, neuronal and glial organoids
7194 Erlotinib Hydrochloride
Potent, selective EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor; promotes differentiation of urothelial organoids
1099 Forskolin
3D Growth matrix component used in liver organoid generation
6956 Galunisertib
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
3000 Iressa
EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor, used in the generation of lung organoids
4439 ISX 9
Increases expression of neurogenic differentiation 1 transcription factor, used in the generation of neuronal, gastrointestinal, pancreatic organoids
3533 IWP 2
Component of heart organoid differentiation media
5214 IWP 4
Component of heart organoid differentiation media
3532 endo-IWR 1
Component of neocortex differentiation media
6053 LDN 193189 dihydrochloride
Component of brain organoid differentiation media
7874 N-Acetylcysteine
Commonly used in multiple stages of organoid generation; also GSH precursor; antioxidant
4106 Nicotinamide
Commonly used as 3D growth matrix components and additive for long-term growth
4192 PD 0325901
Base media component used in ear organoid generation
4786 PD 0332991 isethionate
Used in the generation of neuronal, urothelial organoids
7739 Polyamine Supplement x1000 (lyophilized)
Media supplement to boost cell growth; used as component of CEPT cocktail to enhance stem cell viability
2296 Prostaglandin E2
3D Growth matrix component used in liver and prostate organoid generation
3742 RepSox
Enhances the efficiency of cellular reprogramming; replaces Sox2 by inducing Nanog expression, for pancreatic organoids generation
0695 Retinoic acid
3D Growth matrix component used in kidney organoid generation; also a component of brain organoid differentiation media
5325 Rosiglitazone
Promotes differentiation of urothelial organoids; potent and selective PPARγ agonist
1974 SANT-1
Promotes beta cell differentiation from human embryonic stem cells for pancreatic organoids
1264 SB 202190
3D Growth matrix component and additive for long term growth; also component of gastric organoid culture media
1614 SB 431542
3D Growth matrix component; also component of brain and blood vessel organoid differentiation media
1285 Staurosporine
Enhances efficiency of lentiviral transduction of human hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells, induces dopaminergic axonal outgrowth in vitro, used for neuronal and retinal organoids
0209 Taurine
Stimulates maturation of the optic cups in the retinal maturation medium
3845 Thiazovivin
Enhances the efficiency of fibroblast reprogramming to generate iPSCs, improves the survival of hESCs, increases cell adhesion and significantly improves direct reprogramming efficiency.
7917 TM2 TEAD inhibitor
YAP-dependent liver organoid growth inhibitor; potent inhibitor of TEAD mediated Hippo/Yap signalling
4855 WIKI4
Wnt/β-catenin signaling inhibitor, used for pancreatic, neuronal and cardiac organoids
5148 Wnt-C59
Component of pancreatic, cardiac and neuronal organoids differentiation media
3748 XAV 939
Used in neuronal differentiation protocols; lung and inner ear organoids generation
1254 Y-27632 dihydrochloride
Commonly used as 3D growth matrix component; also a component of brain organoid differentiation media

Related Targets

    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.

    Stages of organoid generation

    Stages of organoid generation

    Figure 1 Image shows the three main stages of organoid genesis: differentiation, cell sorting and spatially restricted lineage commitment.

    Organoids have three defining characteristics:
    1. They consist of multiple cell types found in the organ being modeled
    2. They must exhibit some of the functionality of the organ
    3. Organoid cells are organized in a similar manner to the organ

    Organoid Uses

    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.

    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.

    Cerebral Organoid Snapshot Protocol
    The main stages of cerebral organoid generation are:
    • Embroyoid bodies (EB) cultivation
    • Cell lineage induction
    • Promoting organoid genesis through spatial constriction
    Cerebral organoid generation

    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.

    Visualization of liver spheroids following Tissue Clearing Pro-Organoid Kit application

    Products and Resources from our Sister Brand R&D Systems

    Visit our sister brand R&D systems for comprehensive Organoid Resources including Organoid Generation Recipes, and download the application note on Optimizing Organoid Culture Conditions.

    Optimize organoid cell culture with Cultrex Ultimatrix

    Literature for Organoids

    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.

    Stem Cell Research Product Guide

    Stem Cell Research Product Guide

    This product guide provides a background to the use of small molecules in stem cell research and lists over 200 products for use in:

    • Self-renewal and Maintenance
    • Differentiation
    • Reprogramming
    • Organoid Generation
    • GMP and Ancillary Material Grade Products
    Stem Cells Scientific Review

    Stem Cells Scientific Review

    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 Cell Workflow Poster

    Stem Cell Workflow Poster

    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.

    Stem Cells Poster

    Stem Cells Poster

    Written by Rebecca Quelch and Stefan Przyborski from Durham University (UK), this poster describes the isolation of pluripotent stem cells, their maintenance in culture, differentiation, and the generation and potential uses of organoids.