Brain organoids 101 for neuroscientists


The human brain is the most complex part of our body, it is the organ that controls our senses, body movement, behaviour and is the seat of human intelligence. In the past decade, human brain organoids have been used to study human diseases and develop treatments. However, despite numerous valuable reviews published on how human brain organoids recapitulate brain development, no existing systemic review focuses on the practical aspects of brain organoid technology.



Human brain organoids, derived from human pluripotent stem cells (PSC), are 3D models of the human brain. Human brain organoids, much like our own brains, are complex tissues which elegantly recapitulate certain aspects of human brain development, regional organisation, and physiology. Their applications allow researchers to gain a better understanding of how our brain works but also responds to external pathogens. For instance, human brain organoids are able to demonstrate the impact of different viruses on our brains as well as demonstrate their reactions to different (antiviral) drugs.




A guide on brain organoids for researchers


Due to the efficacious impact of brain organoids on human brain research, a plethora of different brain organoid models has become available within the last decade – all with their own culture specificities, developmental windows, cell types, and characterisations. Despite existing reviews published, currently there are no systematic reviews that focus on these practical culture aspects of human brain organoids. “Such an overview, including a categorical report of cell types described in each model and their cellular markers, may be valuable for researchers in the field” stated Lance Mulder, PhD student at OrganoVIR Labs, in his recently published systematic review.




About OrganoVIR Labs


At OrganoVIR Labs, Lance’s PhD project focuses on using brain organoids to study the effects of congenital cytomegalovirus (CMV) on human brain development under the supervision of postdoc researcher Renata Vieira de Sá and Scientific Manager Adithya Sridhar.


When the first human brain organoid protocol was presented at the beginning of the previous decade, the field saw the development of many new brain region-specific models and protocol adaptations and modifications. For new researchers in the field, the vast amount of data available on brain organoid technology may be overwhelming to sift through. However, with this new practical guide, new researchers will be able to find an overview of the practical aspects of brain organoid technology.

Click below to read Lance’s systematic review: