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Developmental Biology

Optimization of Renal Organoid and Organotypic Culture for Vascularization, Extended Development, and Improved Microscopy Imaging

Published: March 28th, 2020



1Biocenter Oulu and Faculty of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine, University of Oulu, 2InfoTech Oulu, University of Oulu, 3Biobank Borealis of Northern Finland, Oulu University Hospital
* These authors contributed equally

Embryonic kidney organotypic cultures, and especially pluripotent stem cell-derived kidney organoids, are excellent tools for following developmental processes and modelling kidney disease. However, the models are limited by a lack of vascularization and functionality. To address this, an improved protocol for the method of xenografting cells and tissues to the chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) of an avian embryo to gain vascularization and restoration of blood flow was developed. The grafts are overlaid with custom-made minireservoirs that fix the samples to the CAM and supply them with culture medium that protects the grafts from drying. The improved culture method allows xenografts to grow for up to 9 days. The manuscript also describes how to provide optimal conditions for long-term confocal imaging of renal organoids and organotypic cultures using the previously published Fixed Z-Direction (FiZD) method. This method gently compresses an embryonic organ or organoid between a glass coverslip and membrane in a large amount of medium and provides excellent conditions for imaging for up to 12 days. Together, these methods allow vascularization and blood flow to renal organoids and organotypic kidney cultures with improved confocal imaging. The methods described here are highly beneficial for studying fundamental and applied functions of kidneys ex vivo. Both methods are applicable to various types of tissues and organoids.


Keywords Renal Organoid

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