Building brains in a dish: Prospects for growing cerebral organoids from stem cells

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

The recent development of organoid techniques, in which embryonic brain-like tissue can be grown from human or mouse stem cells in vitro offers the potential to transform the way in which brain development is studied. In this review, we summarize key aspects of the embryonic development of mammalian forebrains, focussing in particular on the cerebral cortex and highlight significant differences between mouse and primates, including human. We discuss recent work using cerebral organoids that has revealed key similarities and differences between their development and that of the brain in vivo. Finally, we outline the ways in which cerebral organoids can be used in combination with CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing to unravel genetic mechanisms that control embryonic development of the cerebral cortex, how this can help us understand the causes of neurodevelopmental disorders and some of the key challenges which will have to be resolved before organoids can become a mainstream tool to study brain development.
Original languageEnglish
Early online date6 Aug 2016
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 6 Aug 2016


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