About this Research Topic
Very shortly after the isolation of pluripotent cell populations from preimplantation embryos in the 1960s and 1970s it became possible to culture individual embryonic cells and aggregate them into 3 dimensional structures, called embryoid bodies, that recapitulated embryonic tissues in vivo. Recently it has become possible to use this approach with induced pluripotent stem cells with directed differentiation to produce small organ mimics called organoids. These structures faithfully reproduce the physiology and biochemistry of normal tissue. Since tissue interactions and cross talk are developed as the structure develops organoids, they represent a faithful model of both development and physiologic state. When developed from iPSC from disease states they represent an important platform for the study of pathogenesis and therapeutics in an easily accessible condition. The progression from single stem cells to developed structure offers an unprecedented model of control of differentiation. It is also now clear that gene expression states vary tremendously from cell to cell. In development, specification of fate leading to a developed functional organ depends on regulated heterogeneity. Single cell RNA seq offers an extraordinary opportunity to interrogate the progression from pluripotency to functional organ in a genome wide manner with single cell resolution.
The development of human 3D culture systems from differentiating stem cells is a rapidly moving and exciting area of scientific accomplishment. Robust systems have been obtained for a variety of normal and disease states in a variety of organ models. We hope to coalesce a body of knowledge that represents the current state of the art in order to inform the activities of investgators looking for ethical, accessible model systems and to encourage more widespread use of the combined power of iPSC and differentiated organ tissue in understanding normal development and disease states. Combined with powerful genome wide techniques, particularly single cell approaches, meaningful progress toward the goal of understanding cell to cell heterogeneity and and its role in development is within our grasp.
Contributions addressing these and related issues are welcome for this Research Topic, including those presenting new findings as well as ones reviewing the field more broadly. Specific themes include, but are not limited to:
• Use of human organoids for drug and toxin screening
• Personalizing drug therapies using induced pluripotent stem cells
• Tissue and organ repair
• Organoids and new drug development
• Transforming cells to restore tissue and organ functions
• Understanding organ development and function through single-cell analysis
• Use of single-cell analysis to improve temporal resolution of gene expression
• Induced pluripotent stem cells and the study of rare human disease
Keywords: Drug Therapy, Organoid, Public Health, Single-Cell Analysis, Stem Cells
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.