11 December 2023
mini-organs made in the lab
Growing organs in a petri dish?
What sounds like science fiction has become reality. In 2009 Dutch researchers at Utrecht University had grown what looked like a real gut outside of the body. It was a breakthrough that would revolutionize biomedical research. By now, a diversity of organoids, ranging from gut and kidney to lung and even brain tissue, can be grown from stem cells. These tiny 3D-structures reproduce the complexity of real organs and serve as models to understand the development of diseases and design new drugs. Will we soon be able to grow full-sized organs for transplantation?
On Monday, 11th of December the Science Café will dive into the world of these mini-organs with two scientists presenting on the present and future of organoids. Ellen van den Bogaard (Radboudumc) and her group grow little skin pieces in the lab to study the underlying mechanisms of skin diseases like eczema and psoriasis. With their skin organoids, they develop new treatment options and help reduce the number of animal experiments. Bart Spee (UU) and his team develop mini-livers to study drug toxicity. His group also combines liver-organoids with 3D-bioprinting to create complex structures that even more closely resemble real liver tissue. The intriguing science will be accompanied by the compelling beats of the Arnhem-based pop-rock duo Boter bij de Vis.