Scientists Grow Stomach in Petri Dish to Understand Gutadmin
Researchers at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital announced their creation of a working piece of human stomach this week, complete with the ability to produce acid and digestive enzymes, according to Popular Science. They created a section of the stomach called the fundus, which is responsible for producing acid and digestive enzymes necessary to break down food. Unfortunately, this section is particularly vulnerable to disesase. Scientists hope that being able to study how diseases in this area of the stomach progress, they will be able to develop more effective treatments.
This isn’t the first section of the stomach the team has replicated in a petri dish. Two years ago the researchers created another area of the stomach, known at the antrum, which is responsible for producing hormones that perform vital taks like stimulating appetite. These tiny organs – called organoids – play into a bigger plan for many scientists – creating a “human on a chip” – “a credit card-sized device that contains organoids from every organ in the human body,” which would allow reserachers to see how drugs affect the body as a whole, potentially leading to more targeted drug therapies with fewer side-effects, according to Popular Science.
“The next real steps for me would be to make these tissues better and more functional to be used in transplantation therapies,” lead study author James Wells said. Read more about this research in Nature.