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The Art in Science

Product Image Mini-Me


Renee Hein, Graduate Student (Spence Laboratory), Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, University of Michigan Medical School

Organoids are “mini organs” grown in a culture dish. Scientists can make such organoids from stem cells or tissue specimens. Since performing experiments on humans is difficult, and in many cases, ethically untenable, such organoids provide alternative models to study human development and disease. In the future, organoids may have the potential to be used clinically for tissue regeneration and cell therapy. This is an image of a lung organoid that was made from cells of a cystic fibrosis patient, in an ongoing study aimed at creating a cellular therapy for cystic fibrosis, with the hope of one day curing the disease. The different colors in the image mark specific proteins that are uniquely present in a lung stem cell. Scientists use these markers to determine whether they’ve generated the correct cell types in the organoid.