Organoids: A New Model for SARS-CoV-2 Translational Research

Int J Stem Cells. 2021 May 30;14(2):138-149. doi: 10.15283/ijsc20169.


The 2019-novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) pneumonia epidemic is a thorny public health problem faced by health officials and a major cause of concern for health professionals. However, the currently used immortalized cell lines and animal models, though easy to manipulate, can not thoroughly simulate real viral activity due to a lack of target cells, species isolation, and insufficient adequate tissues and organs for clinical research. Organoid that emerges as an effective model and time-saving approach can simulate the viral life cycle in vitro and explore a therapeutic target for antiviral drug development. The 3D tissue cultures contain patient-specific stem cells in vitro to mimic the complexity of real tissue within the 3D microstructure that has the same functionality as the tissue of interest. It avoids the problems such as the distortion of genetic markers and animal ethics of using 2D cultures for animal testing and can be employed in studies of specific-organ viral infections to fully understand the physiopathological mechanism of SARS-CoV-2 infection for vaccine research and development.

Keywords: Coronavirus 2019 disease; Organoids; Stem cells; Translational research.

Publication types

  • Review