NYSCF Innovator Develops Mature, Diverse Brain “Organoids”
NYSCF – Robertson Stem Cell Investigator Dr. Paola Arlotta and a team of researchers at Harvard University developed protocols to create human brain organoids, organ models cultured from induced pluripotent stem cells, capable of growing and maturing to an unprecedented level. Typical organoids are developed and tested in a matter of weeks. The organoids, reported in Nature, were cultured and matured for nine months or longer.
The scientists analyzed gene expression in more than 80,000 cells taken from 31 brain organoids and compared the results to those documented from human brain tissue samples to identify the multitude of different brain cell types displayed in the organoids. These organoids also developed key traits such as spontaneously active neural networks, dendritic spines and light-sensitive cells.
These human brain models enable a next-level platform for neuropsychiatric disease modeling and drug discovery.
NYSCF – Robertson Neuroscience Investigator Dr. Ed Boyden of MIT Media Lab was also an author on the paper.