Organoids

4 min read

News:Recently,Scientists has raised ethical concerns over growing of organoids in the laboratory that can perceive or feel things.

Facts:

About Organoids:

  • Organoids are a group of cells grown in laboratories into a three dimensional, miniature structures that mimic the cell arrangement of a fully-grown organ. 
  • They are tiny typically the size of a pea organ-like structures that do not achieve all the functional maturity of human organs but often resemble the early stages of a developing tissue. 
  • Most organoids contain only a subset of all the cells seen in a real organ, but lack blood vessels to make them fully functional. 

How are organoids grown in the laboratory?

  • Organoids are grown in the lab using stem cells that can become any of the specialised cells seen in the human body.
  • They could be grown from stem cells taken from the organ or adults cells that have been induced to behave like stem cells, scientifically called induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC).
  • Stem cells are provided with nutrients and other specific molecules to grow and become cells resembling a specific organ.
  • The growing cells are capable of self-organising into cellular structures of a specific organ and can partly replicate complex functions of mature organs

Importance of Organoids:

  • Organoids offer new opportunities to study proteins and genes that are critical for the development of an organ.This helps in knowing how a mutation in a specific gene causes a disease or disorder.
  • Organoids represents all components of organ and are suited to study infectious diseases affecting specialized human cell types.
  • Organoids can be used to study the safety and efficacy of new drugs and also test the response of tissues to existing medicines.
  • Organoids will bring precision medicine closer to reality by developing patient-specific treatment strategies by studying which drugs the patient is most sensitive to.

Concerns:

  • Experts have said that Scientists have transplanted lab-grown brain organoid to adult animals.This is seen as a step towards potential humanisation of host animals.
  • They have also argued that brain organoids developed do not have the necessary sensory inputs and sensory connections compared to the Human brain.