3D Human Stem Cell Model for Neural Development
Abstract – Organoids are a 3D stem cell model which recapitulate the physiology of the human organs and are derived from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). The purpose of this project was to optimize cortical organoid differentiation protocol to be implemented in neurodevelopment and disease progression studies. Animal models such as mice have limitations such as inaccurate representation of the human brain development, and 2D models such as iPSCs have limitations with regard to being able to explore development through cell-to-cell interactions. However, organoids present a unique model as they are more effective and much closer to that of a human organ’s physiology. iPSCs were cultured until completely confluent and later differentiated into cortical organoids in order to study neurodevelopment. Morphological characteristics studied during differentiation indicated that certain cell types within the organoid began to migrate. With the specific protocol used, neural rosettes formed later compared to other protocols. Rosettes indicate neural development as they are known to be representative of the neural tube. The objective of optimizing the protocol was to shorten the process and increase the effectiveness of the differentiation process.