Stomachs, intestines and oesophaguses, among others, have now been added to the list of mini artificial organs, three-dimensional (3D) tissues manufactured in the laboratory to emulate various organ structures. The most ambitious goal is to improve the techniques to generate organs that can be transplanted. However, these mini organs are not a mere intermediate step, as they already have useful applications that are almost within reach: as models of disease, especially, developmental problems, degenerative disorders and cancer, and to test new and older drugs.
Organoids of prostate and breast cancers have been obtained to test (only experimentally at present) the efficacy of multiple medicines simultaneously.
Experts in this field warn that not all 3D mini-organs can be classified as an organoid.To be considered as such, it must contain more than one type of cells of the organ that it represents, must show some of its specific functions, and the cells should be organised in a similar way (Diario Médico, 22/28-XII-2014).