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It used to be a thing of science fiction…growing human organs in test tubes and observing their behavior as we manipulate their environment. For David Pamies, postdoctoral researcher at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland, this is daily life, although it may not always be ordinary.

On today’s episode, he discusses how he’s using a brain organoid—an organ grown from human-induced pluripotent stem cells—to learn more about the toxins we come into contact with on a daily basis. He explains why and how this model is superior to far more commonly-used mouse models, and how it’s also fueling research on drug treatment for an aggressive type of brain cancer known as glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). Such research includes testing the effectiveness of temozolomide, a commonly used chemotherapy drug.

Dr. Pamies dives into the science behind it all and provides a compelling glimpse into the exciting and growing world of organoid-based research. Press play for all the details.

Here are different publications related to Organoids and Human Brain:

Organanoids, 3D cultures.

  • Lancaster MA, Renner M, Martin CA, Wenzel D, Bicknell LS, Hurles ME, Homfray T, Penninger JM, Jackson AP, Knoblich JA. Cerebral organoids model human brain development and microcephaly. Nature. 2013 Sep 19;501(7467):373-9. doi: 10.1038/nature12517.

  • Pamies D, Barreras P, Block K, Makri G, Kumar A, Wiersma D, Smirnova L, Zang C, Bressler J, Christian KM, Harris G, Ming GL, Berlinicke CJ, Kyro K, Song H, Pardo CA, Hartung T, Hogberg HT. A human brain microphysiological system derived  from induced pluripotent stem cells to study neurological diseases and toxicity.  ALTEX. 2017;34(3):362-376. doi: 10.14573/altex.1609122.

  • Amin ND, Paşca SP. Building Models of Brain Disorders with Three-Dimensional Organoids. Neuron. 2018 Oct 24;100(2):389-405. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2018.10.007.

Glioblastoma model:

  • Plummer S, Wallace S, Ball G, Lloyd R, Schiapparelli P, Quiñones-Hinojosa A, Hartung T, Pamies D. A Human iPSC-derived 3D platform using primary brain cancer  cells to study drug development and personalized medicine. Sci Rep. 2019 Feb 5;9(1):1407. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-38130-0.

Organoids vascularization:

  • Grebenyuk S, Ranga A. Engineering Organoid Vascularization. Front Bioeng Biotechnol. 2019 Mar 19;7:39. doi: 10.3389/fbioe.2019.00039.

  • Pham MT, Pollock KM, Rose MD, Cary WA, Stewart HR, Zhou P, Nolta JA, Waldau B. Generation of human vascularized brain organoids. Neuroreport. 2018 May 2;29(7):588-593. doi: 10.1097/WNR.0000000000001014.

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