Organoids

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.

Products
Background
Literature (1)
Cat. No. Product Name / Activity
2939 A 83-01
Commonly used as 3D growth matrix component and additive for long-term organoid growth
5823 Ala-Gln
Component of base media
4423 CHIR 99021
Commonly used in multiple stages of organoid generation
2634 DAPT
3D Growth matrix component and component of cerebral organoid differentiation media
1099 Forskolin
3D Growth matrix component used in liver organoid generation
3006 Gastrin I (human)
Used in the culture of stomach organoids; CCKe receptor agonist
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
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
2296 Prostaglandin E2
3D Growth matrix component used in liver and prostate organoid generation
0695 Retinoic acid
3D Growth matrix component used in kidney organoid generation; also a component of brain organoid differentiation media
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
2822 Testosterone
3D Growth matrix component used in prostate organoid generation
1254 Y-27632 dihydrochloride
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.

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.

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.

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.

Visit our sister brand R&D systems for comprehensive Organoid Resources including Organoid Generation Recipes.

Stages of organoid generation

Literature for Organoids

Tocris offers the following scientific literature for Organoids to showcase our products. We invite you to request* or download your copy today!

*Please note that Tocris will only send literature to established scientific business / institute addresses.


New Product Guide

New Product Guide [Spring/Summer 2019]

Our new product guide highlights over 215 new products added to the Tocris Bioscience range during the first half of 2019.

  • 7-TM Receptors
  • Enzymes
  • Enzyme-Linked Receptors
  • Ion Channels
  • Nuclear Receptors
  • Transporters
  • Chemogenetics
  • Epigenetics
  • Fluorescent Imaging
  • PROTACs
  • Signal Transduction
  • Stem Cells