A Modern Day Frankenstein Story

This week’s blog is somewhat Frankenstein-ish.

In the past, many of today’s medical breakthroughs were thought to be crazy or freakish, that today are considered to be common and are done every day to save lives such as organ transplants some are through human donors others by mechanical means.

At the University Hospital Düsseldorf in Germany, they have created tiny brains called “cerebral organoids”. The “cerebral organoids” scientists in Germany created are small eye-like structures called “optic cups” that give rise to the retina-the tissue that sits in the back of the eye and contains light-sensing cells. Organoids are small, three-dimensional tissue cultures that can replicate organs. Researchers grow tiny organoids from stem cells or cells that have the potential to mature into any cell in the body.

Image: www.smithsonianmag.com

Previously, researchers had grown “optic cups” individually, but this is the first study that integrated optic cups into brain organoids the hope is to use these created organs for studies. Growing organoids allows researchers to peer into how organs develop and provide valuable insights into how organs could react to specific drugs or treatments. The research could help scientists understand eye diseases and eye development and eventually used create personalized retinal cell types for therapeutic uses.








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