Novel approaches: Tissue engineering and stem cells--In vitro modelling of the gut

Jorik M van Rijn, Kerstin Schneeberger, Caroline L Wiegerinck, Edward E S Nieuwenhuis, Sabine Middendorp

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


    In many intestinal diseases, the function of the epithelial lining is impaired. In this review, we describe the recent developments of in vitro intestinal stem cell cultures. When these stem cells are grown in 3D structures (organoids), they provide a model of the intestinal epithelium, which is closely similar to the growth and development of the in vivo gut. This model provides a new tool to study various diseases of malabsorption in functional detail and therapeutic applications, which could not be achieved with traditional cell lines. First, we describe the organization and function of the healthy small intestinal epithelium. Then, we discuss the establishment of organoid cultures and how these structures represent the healthy epithelium. Finally, we discuss organoid cultures as a tool for studying intrinsic properties of the epithelium, as a model for intestinal disease, and as a possible source for stem cell transplantations.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)281-293
    Number of pages13
    JournalBest Practice & Research in Clinical Gastroenterology
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2016


    • Cell Differentiation
    • Cell Proliferation
    • Humans
    • Intestinal Mucosa
    • Mechanotransduction, Cellular
    • Models, Biological
    • Organoids
    • Stem Cell Transplantation
    • Tissue Engineering


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