May 23, 2022
Human Organoids: Essential Research Tools
Organogenesis, or the process of organ formation during embryonic development, is an area of intense research interest to understand both how the process proceeds normally and what happens when it is perturbed. Although valuable information has been gained from non-human model organisms, there are many unique features of human organ development that require human models.
The solution to this has been the development of human organoids, three-dimensional cellular structures that recapitulate some of the key features of human organ physiology. However, organoid culture is challenging in its own right.
Building a Transcriptomic Atlas of Developing Organs
A new Cell paper by Yu et. al. approached the challenge of understanding organogenesis from a single-cell perspective. The authors leveraged single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) to build an atlas of the transcriptomes of the various cellular states of developing organ cell types from the respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts.
This atlas helps better outline the transcriptomic profiles of individual cell states during development, as well as the transcription factors involved in inducing differentiation processes. The applications to improve the engineering of human pluripotent stem cell (hPSC)-derived intestinal organoids (HIOs) were immediately apparent.
Towards Improved Organoid Development
Human organ development is a highly complex process that is hugely dependent on the timing of gene expression changes. The cell atlas. highlights the profiles of different cellular states during organogenesis and was then used to show how human organoids recapitulate those same reference cell states.
This provides a genetic basis to determine the quality of a given organoid model, in addition to improving our understanding of the complex transcriptional and temporal changes involved in human organ development. This understanding can be applied to work from organoid culture to treatments for heritable defects in organogenesis.
Outsourcing Bioinformatics Analysis
This study illustrates the power of scRNA-seq for research, but interpreting single-cell RNA-seq data is a challenging computational and bioinformatic task. Outsourcing your bioinformatic analysis to experts like our team at Bridge Informatics helps eliminate common challenges with these projects. If you’re interested, book a free discovery call with us today to discuss your project needs.
Jane Cook, Journalist & Content Writer, Bridge Informatics
Jane is a Content Writer at Bridge Informatics, a professional services firm that helps biotech customers implement advanced techniques in the management and analysis of genomic data. Bridge Informatics focuses on data mining, machine learning, and various bioinformatic techniques to discover biomarkers and companion diagnostics. If you’re interested in reaching out, please email [email protected] or [email protected].