The Challenge The big challenge for Medical Biotechnology is to develop better cellular-based model systems advancing our understanding of diseases and how to combat them. For example:
Organoids are mini-organs – tiny, self-organised three-dimensional tissue cultures derived from stem cells or tumours. Their size, advanced differentiation, and potential human origin provide a convincing alternative to “classic” cell culture and animal models for preclinical drug testing and disease modelling. We use imaging and biochemical analysis to compare development and responses of healthy and disease organoids.
The small organoid size offers completely new opportunities for high-resolution imaging, to study disease development and prevention in a complex cellular system.
The are many different imaging approaches - each of which have pros and cons. We aim for high-resolution 3D imaging (nanometre resolution) to be able to identify cellular structures and larger molecular complexes. This can be achieved using electron tomography (ET) for small/thin samples and X-ray tomography (XT) for larger/thicker samples.