Human blastoids model blastocyst development and implantation

Nature. 2022 Jan;601(7894):600-605. doi: 10.1038/s41586-021-04267-8. Epub 2021 Dec 2.


One week after fertilization, human embryos implant into the uterus. This event requires the embryo to form a blastocyst consisting of a sphere encircling a cavity lodging the embryo proper. Stem cells can form a blastocyst model that we called a blastoid1. Here we show that naive human pluripotent stem cells cultured in PXGL medium2 and triply inhibited for the Hippo, TGF-β and ERK pathways efficiently (with more than 70% efficiency) form blastoids generating blastocyst-stage analogues of the three founding lineages (more than 97% trophectoderm, epiblast and primitive endoderm) according to the sequence and timing of blastocyst development. Blastoids spontaneously form the first axis, and we observe that the epiblast induces the local maturation of the polar trophectoderm, thereby endowing blastoids with the capacity to directionally attach to hormonally stimulated endometrial cells, as during implantation. Thus, we propose that such a human blastoid is a faithful, scalable and ethical model for investigating human implantation and development3,4.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Blastocyst* / metabolism
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Lineage
  • Embryo Implantation
  • Embryonic Development
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Pluripotent Stem Cells*