Gut organoids: Mini-tissues in culture to study intestinal physiology and disease

Mohammad Almeqdadi, Miyeko D. Mana, Jatin Roper, Ömer H. Yilmaz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Scopus citations


In vitro, cell cultures are essential tools in the study of intestinal function and disease. For the past few decades, monolayer cellular cultures, such as cancer cell lines or immortalized cell lines, have been widely applied in gastrointestinal research. Recently, the development of three-dimensional cultures known as organoids has permitted the growth of normal crypt-villus units that recapitulate many aspects of intestinal physiology. Organoid culturing has also been applied to study gastrointestinal diseases, intestinal-microbe interactions, and colorectal cancer. These models are amenable to CRISPR gene editing and drug treatments, including high-throughput small-molecule testing. Three-dimensional intestinal cultures have been transplanted into mice to develop versatile in vivo models of intestinal disease, particularly cancer. Limitations of currently available organoid models include cost and challenges in modeling nonepithelial intestinal cells, such as immune cells and the microbiota. Here, we describe the development of organoid models of intestinal biology and the applications of organoids for study of the pathophysiology of intestinal diseases and cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)C405-C419
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Cell Physiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Colon cancer
  • Genetic editing
  • Gut physiology
  • Intestinal organoids
  • Organoid culture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cell Biology


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