[Special Feature] Methods in Organoids

Over the last decade, adult stem cell-derived organoid systems have extended into diverse fields of biomedical science: the applications range from use as a model system for the basic biology of internal organs to a new platform for human biology, enabling the live biobanking of patient samples of cancer and other diseases, genetic engineering, image-based screening, genomics and studies of infection biology. Despite the rapid progress of the field, organoid technology has thus far been utilized only by a few leading laboratories and early adopters. It often takes years of trial and error to set up, since the cultures depend on complex growth factor cocktails, the handling of organoids needs extensive training, and obtaining human samples requires ethical permissions and collaboration with clinicians. More importantly, the potential of the system will not be fully realized while unpublished know-how and trade secrets form a barrier for newcomers to the field. In this special issue, a group of expert teams have therefore made a joint effort to share the methodological details of various organoid applications. With this special issue, I wish to invite more people to join the organoid community and to adopt this state-of-the-art technology to explore their own biological questions.