The natural ability of stem cells to self-organize into functional tissue has been harnessed for the production of functional human intestinal organoids. Although dynamic mechanical forces play a central role in intestinal development and morphogenesis, conventional methods for the generation of intestinal organoids have relied solely on biological factors. Here, we show that the incorporation of uniaxial strain, using compressed nitinol springs, in human intestinal organoids transplanted into the mesentery of mice induces growth and maturation of the organoids. Assessment of morphometric parameters, transcriptome profiling and functional assays of the strain-exposed tissue revealed higher similarities to native human intestine, with regard to tissue size and complexity, and muscle tone. Our findings suggest that the incorporation of physiologically relevant mechanical cues during the development of human intestinal tissue enhances its maturation and enterogenesis.
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The authors thank G. L. Keller and Veterinary Services staff for support in completing the animal work, J. M. Kofron for kind assistance with the IVIS Spectrum microCT imaging and B. Donnelly for assistance with the protein work. This work was funded in part by NIH grants P30 DK078392 (DHC Pilot and Feasibility Award to M.M.M.; DNA sequencing and iPSCs core facilities) and NIH NIDKK grant 1K99DK110414-02 (to M.M.M.), as well as an Athena Blackburn Research Scholar Award in neuroenteric diseases from the American Gastroenterology Association (to M.M.M.) and a ‘New Team’ grant (BOGUS to M.M.M.) from the Bioregate Regenerative Medicine Cluster, University of Nantes and Pays de la Loire Region. The Dunn, Helmrath and Wells laboratories are members of the Intestinal Stem Cell Consortium, supported by NIDDK and NIAID (U01DK103117 to M.A.H.). This research was also supported in part by the Cincinnati Children’s Research Foundation and the Cincinnati Biobank, as well as the Better Outcomes for Children Biorepository.
The authors declare no competing interests.
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Poling, H.M., Wu, D., Brown, N. et al. Mechanically induced development and maturation of human intestinal organoids in vivo. Nat Biomed Eng 2, 429–442 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41551-018-0243-9
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