Using stem cells, robots are now able to grow organ samples for humans. This research is the first step in saving millions of lives. Researchers at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle call it the “new secret weapon in our fight against the disease.”
The team has created an automated system which uses robots to create small human organs – called organoids, from stem cells. It is a breakthrough in science that can help save lives.
Producing and Analyzing Organoids – The Accurate and Rather Tedious Job Performed By Robots
Moreover, the leader of the team, Benjamin Freedman explains that their robots can help expand the research in treatments that can be used on the mini organs. He also says that it is time-effective and an accurate way to complete research:
“Ordinarily, just setting up an experiment of this magnitude would take a researcher all day, while the robot can do it in 20 minutes. On top of that, the robot doesn’t get tired and make mistakes. There’s no question. For repetitive, tedious tasks like this, robots do a better job than humans.”
The study was published in the journal Cell Stem Cell, describing the robotic system and how it grew a small kidney from pluripotent stem cells.
Researchers also programmed the robots to analyze the organoids after they produce them.
Dr. Jennifer Harder is the co-author of the study and a kidney disease specialist. She explains that this technology will help scientists all over the world:
“The value of this high-throughput platform is that we can now alter our procedure at any point, in many different ways, and quickly see which of these changes produces a better result.”
In their study, the team created organoids that were mutated to cause polycystic kidney disease (PKD). Then, they experimented with the small organs to find a way and treat the cysts by blocking a protein called myosin.
“This was unexpected, since myosin was not known to be involved in PKD,” said Freedman.
With the new robotic system, scientists will successfully develop organs from the patients’ stem cells, solving the issue of organ replacements.
Andre Blair s is the lead editor for Advocator.ca. He holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Toronto, and a Master of Science in Public Health (M.S.P.H.) from the School of Public Health, Department of Health Administration, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Andre specializes in environmental health, but writes on a variety of issues.