A simple and efficient method for generating human retinal organoids

Academic Article


  • Purpose: Retinal organoids (ROs) derived from human pluripotent stem cells largely recapitulate key features of in vivo retinal development, thus permitting the study of retinogenesis, disease modeling, and therapeutic development. However, the complexities of current protocols limit the use of this in vitro system in applications requiring large-scale production of organoids. Currently, widely used methods require the isolation of presumed optic vesicle-like structures from adherent cultures by dissection, a labor-intensive and time-consuming step that involves extensive practice and training. Method: We report a simple and efficient method for generating ROs by scraping the entire adherent culture and growing the resulting cell aggregates in a free-floating condition. Results: Within 1 to 7 days following the procedure, emerging morphologically well-defined optic vesicles can be identified and harvested with ease. The transition from two-dimensional (2D) to 3D culture condition favored the formation of ROs from areas devoid of typical optic vesicle-like structures, thus increasing the RO yield. Moreover, ROs generated by this approach were more often associated with the pigment epithelium. Conclusions: This improved, robust, and efficient protocol should facilitate large-scale differentiation of pluripotent stem cells into retinal organoids in support of human disease modeling and therapy development.
  • Authors

    Published In

  • Molecular Vision  Journal
  • Author List

  • Regent F; Chen HY; Kelley RA; Qu Z; Swaroop A; Li T
  • Start Page

  • 97
  • End Page

  • 105
  • Volume

  • 26