Pluripotent stem cell-derived organoids: using principles of developmental biology to grow human tissues in a dish

Development. 2017 Mar 15;144(6):958-962. doi: 10.1242/dev.140731.


Pluripotent stem cell (PSC)-derived organoids are miniature, three-dimensional human tissues generated by the application of developmental biological principles to PSCs in vitro The approach to generate organoids uses a combination of directed differentiation, morphogenetic processes, and the intrinsically driven self-assembly of cells that mimics organogenesis in the developing embryo. The resulting organoids have remarkable cell type complexity, architecture and function similar to their in vivo counterparts. In the past five years, human PSC-derived organoids with components of all three germ layers have been generated, resulting in the establishment of a new human model system. Here, and in the accompanying poster, we provide an overview of how principles of developmental biology have been essential for generating human organoids in vitro, and how organoids are now being used as a primary research tool to investigate human developmental biology.

Keywords: Directed differentiation; Human development; Morphogenesis; Organoids; Patterning; Pluripotent stem cells.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Body Patterning
  • Developmental Biology*
  • Disease
  • Humans
  • Organoids / cytology*
  • Pluripotent Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Tissue Culture Techniques / methods*