Medical Research Council - London Institute of Medical Sciences

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Fusion Power

Brain organoid fused with blood vessel organoid creates a more accurate model of the brain

11 August 2022

Fusion Power

As one of your body's heaviest organs, your brain is packed with billions of neurons. No surprises there. But it also has a network of blood vessels that draws a staggering 20% of all the blood your heart pumps out. Mimicking this assembly of neurons and blood vessels in the lab is challenging. Current lab-grown models – brain organoids – lack blood vessel networks. Researchers now present a solution: fused organoids. Using human embryonic stem cells, brain organoids and blood vessel organoids were grown separately. They were then paired together, grown in 3D matrices and subsequently fused to each other. Fluorescence microscopy of the fused organoids (pictured), which contained neurons (white) and blood vessels (red), revealed structures similar to the blood-brain barrier and immune cells specific to the brain called microglia. These organoids, therefore, provide more accurate models of the brain that support research into the interactions between neurons and other brain cells.

Written by Lux Fatimathas

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