Bio Protoc. 2021 Apr 20;11(8):e3985. doi: 10.21769/BioProtoc.3985. eCollection 2021 Apr 20.
Recent advances in stem cell technology have allowed researchers to generate 3D cerebral organoids (COs) from human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs). Indeed, COs have provided an unprecedented opportunity to model the developing human brain in a 3D context, and in turn, are suitable for addressing complex neurological questions by leveraging advancements in genetic engineering, high resolution microscopy, and tissue transcriptomics. However, the use of this model is limited by substantial variations in the overall morphology and cellular composition of organoids derived from the same pluripotent cell line. To address these limitations, we established a robust, high-efficiency protocol for the production of consistent COs by optimizing the initial phase of embryoid body (EB) formation and neural induction. Using this protocol, COs can be reproducibly generated with a uniform size, shape, and cellular composition across multiple batches. Furthermore, organoids that developed over extended periods of time (3-6 months) showed the establishment of relatively mature features, including electrophysiologically active neurons, and the emergence of oligodendrocyte progenitors. Thus, this platform provides a robust experimental model that can be used to study human brain development and associated disorders. Graphic abstract: Overview of cerebral organoid development from pluripotent stem cells.