Dutch researchers have announced “promising” new therapy options with their miniature organoids, which are the size of a rice grain and imitate the function of full-size brains.
Their use will pave the way for investigations into brain development, which may one day lead to treatments for fatal brain tumors and other disorders having a developmental component.
In the United Kingdom, brain tumors affect over 16,000 people annually, with about 2,400 losing their lives as a result.
Treatments now available include radiation, chemotherapy, and surgery; however, scientists are always searching for discoveries that may result in game-changing drugs.
Almost every human tissue, healthy and sick, including a growing number of pediatric tumors, may now be targeted using organoids. The mini-organs were constructed by researchers using tiny fragments of fetal brain tissue that were generated in the womb.
In contrast, some mini-organs, such as the gut, were created using individual cells.
The researchers discovered that the embryonic brain tissue could “self-organize” into organoids. The organoids retained features of the tissue-derived brain region.
The group plans to use organoids in future studies and hopes to learn more about them.
“These organoids may give unique insights into what forms the various areas of the brain,” Dr. Delilah Hendriks of the Princess Maxima Centre remarked. They aim to use what they find in the models to figure out how the human brain works.
She said, “We can learn as much as possible from such rare material since we can keep developing and utilizing the brain organoids from fetal tissue.” “We can’t wait to see what fresh insights into the human brain these innovative tissue organoids may provide,” she concluded.