How to make an intestine

Development. 2014 Feb;141(4):752-60. doi: 10.1242/dev.097386.


With the high prevalence of gastrointestinal disorders, there is great interest in establishing in vitro models of human intestinal disease and in developing drug-screening platforms that more accurately represent the complex physiology of the intestine. We will review how recent advances in developmental and stem cell biology have made it possible to generate complex, three-dimensional, human intestinal tissues in vitro through directed differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells. These are currently being used to study human development, genetic forms of disease, intestinal pathogens, metabolic disease and cancer.

Keywords: Directed differentiation; Embryonic stem cells; Gastrointestinal disease; Gut tube; Intestinal morphogenesis; Pluripotent stem cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cell Differentiation / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Intestines / physiology*
  • Models, Biological*
  • Organ Culture Techniques / methods*
  • Organogenesis / physiology*
  • Pluripotent Stem Cells / physiology*
  • Tissue Engineering / methods*