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BMB Rep. 2019 May;52(5):295-303.

Recent advances in organoid culture for insulin production and diabetes therapy: methods and challenges.

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Department of Stem Cell & Regenerative Biotechnology, Konkuk University, Seoul 05029, Korea.


Breakthroughs in stem cell technology have contributed to disease modeling and drug screening via organoid technology. Organoid are defined as three-dimensional cellular aggregations derived from adult tissues or stem cells. They recapitulate the intricate pattern and functionality of the original tissue. Insulin is secreted mainly by the pancreatic β cells. Large-scale production of insulin-secreting β cells is crucial for diabetes therapy. Here, we provide a brief overview of organoids and focus on recent advances in protocols for the generation of pancreatic islet organoids from pancreatic tissue or pluripotent stem cells for insulin secretion. The feasibility and limitations of organoid cultures derived from stem cells for insulin production will be described. As the pancreas and gut share the same embryological origin and produce insulin, we will also discuss the possible application of gut organoids for diabetes therapy. Better understanding of the challenges associated with the current protocols for organoid culture facilitates development of scalable organoid cultures for applications in biomedicine. [BMB Reports 2019; 52(5): 295-303].

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