It is possible that brain injuries could be treated in the future thanks to brain organoids.
A new study from the University of Pennsylvania demonstrates this potential. In the study, little blobs of human brain tissue were transplanted into rats and, within three months, were shown to integrate with the surrounding rat brain tissue.
Furthermore, the neurons in the organoids responded to visual stimuli, such as black-and-white images and lights shone into the rats’ eyes.
The organoids were grown from induced pluripotent stem cells that were genetically modified to express a green fluorescent protein allowing them to identify the cells.
Though further research is needed, this study is a promising first step and provides evidence that organoid neurons may be able to integrate with the brain and even adopt specific functions of the visual cortex.