Generation of Organs from Urine
  • Dong Wook Han
  • SLS Colloquia / 06.01.2017. 04:00 pm / Room N104, Bldg 110.

The recent advances in stem cell-field successfully demonstrated the generation of miniaturized three-dimensional organ-like structures so called organoids from human pluripotent stem cells (PSCs). It was also described that organoids representing distinct organs such as lung, stomach, and brain could be generated by inducing self-organization of PSCs under 3D differentiation conditions. This brand new organoid technology using a unique self-organizing property of PSCs might provide an advanced patient-specific platform for in vitro disease modeling as well as drug screening. However, a few issues need clear resolution before translating organoid technology to the clinic. Firstly, the efficiency of organoid generation is normally very low. Secondly, most of organoids exhibit quite heterogeneous structures. Thirdly, most organoids representing distinct organs could not be maintained in vitro for a long-term, hindering its further maturation. Finally, but most importantly, the organoids representing distinct organs normally display the relatively immature structures compared with their in vivo counterparts, although the key structural characteristics are well conserved. Here we described the robust protocols for generating both brain and liver organoids from human PSCs. By modulating the key signaling pathways governing the lineage specifications into either ectoderm or endoderm, we were able to generate both brain and liver organoids with the homogenous structures. Moreover, our organoids could stably be maintained in vitro for the long-term, resulting in the relatively mature and homogenous structures. Our novel and robust protocol for generating homogenous and mature organoids might hold potential usefulness for understanding early development and disease modeling.