The development of therapeutic interventions for hearing loss requires fundamental knowledge about the signaling pathways controlling tissue development as well as the establishment of human cell-based assays to validate therapeutic strategies ex vivo Recent advances in the field of stem cell biology and organoid culture systems allow the expansion and differentiation of tissue-specific progenitors and pluripotent stem cells in vitro into functional hair cells and otic-like neurons. We discuss how inner ear organoids have been developed and how they offer for the first time the opportunity to validate drug-based therapies, gene-targeting approaches and cell replacement strategies.
Keywords: Hair cells; Inner ear; Organoids; Regeneration; Stem cells.
© 2019. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.
Conflict of interest statement
Competing interestsThe authors declare no competing or financial interests.
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