To discuss existing expectations from organoids and how they can affect biomedical research and society, and to analyse the current limitations and how they can potentially be overcome.
Recent success with engineering human organoids has created great enthusiasm and expectations, especially for their potential as tissue substitutes. The most feasible applications for organoid technologies at the moment are: drug testing, disease modelling and studying of human development.
Being able to engineer transplantable tissues in a dish would fundamentally change the way we conduct biomedical research and clinical practice, and impact important aspects of science and society – from animal experimentation to personalized medicine, bioethics, transplantation and gene therapy. However, whether organoids will soon be able to fulfil these expectations is still unclear, because of significant existing limitations. By answering a set of questions, here I will examine the expectations on the future of organoids and how they can affect the field and the society, I will analyse the most important limitations that still prevent the production of transplantable human tissues in a dish, and discuss possible solution strategies.
Laboratory of Organ Regeneration, Department of Molecular Medicine, Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri IRCCS, Bergamo, Italy
Correspondence to Christodoulos Xinaris, Laboratory of Organ Regeneration, Department of Molecular Medicine, Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri IRCCS, Centro Anna Maria Astori Science and Technology Park Kilometro Rosso, Via Stezzano, 87 24126 Bergamo, Italy. Tel: +39 035 42131; fax: +39 035 319331; e-mail: email@example.com