On 15 March 2022, Sebo Withoff from the University Medical Center Groningen gave a presentation about organoids and Organ-on-Chips in the context of a series of lectures, organized by the Royal Physics Society (KNG). Aim of the KNG is to promote broad interest in the natural sciences.
Title lecture: The use of organoids and Organ-on-Chips for the study of disease processes
Summary by Sebo Withoff
Perhaps the most important findings of research into the human genome (the complete genetic DNA composition of an individual) are that everyone’s genome is unique and that the DNA differences are expressed in a tissue- or organ-specific way. These genomic and tissue/organ-specific interindividual differences, together with environmental factors, appear to underlie interindividual differences in the risk of developing diseases, but also in the interindividual effectiveness of specific drugs. These findings have important implications for the development of experimental model systems for research into disease processes.
In this lecture I will talk about recent developments in stem cell biology and in the field of microfluidic technologies, which now make it possible to make multicellular ‘organoids’ (artificially grown miniature organs) and ‘mini-organs-on-a-chip’ and to even include environmental factors in these models. By using donor cells from patients or healthy individuals, with DNA representative of these different groups, you can now create genetically unique models that enable personalized health research and the development of personalized treatments.
The lecture can be viewed online via YouTube (in Dutch).