Modeling human disease using organotypic cultures

Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2016 Dec;43:22-29. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2016 Jul 27.


Reliable disease models are needed in order to improve quality of healthcare. This includes gaining better understanding of disease mechanisms, developing new therapeutic interventions and personalizing treatment. Up-to-date, the majority of our knowledge about disease states comes from in vivo animal models and in vitro cell culture systems. However, it has been exceedingly difficult to model disease at the tissue level. Since recently, the gap between cell line studies and in vivo modeling has been narrowing thanks to progress in biomaterials and stem cell research. Development of reliable 3D culture systems has enabled a rapid expansion of sophisticated in vitro models. Here we focus on some of the latest advances and future perspectives in 3D organoids for human disease modeling.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Disease*
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological*
  • Organoids / pathology*
  • Tissue Culture Techniques / methods*