A brief history of organoids.

In vitro cell cultures are crucial research tools for modelling human development and diseases. While the conventional monolayer cell cultures have been widely used in the past, the lack of tissue architecture and complexity of such model fails to inform the true biological processes in vivo. Recent advances in the organoid technology have revolutionized the in vitro culture tools for biomedical research by creating powerful three-dimensional (3D) models to recapitulate the cellular heterogeneity, structure and functions of the primary tissues. Such organoid technology enables researchers to recreate human organs and diseases in a dish, thus holds great promises for many translational applications such as regenerative medicine, drug discovery and precision medicine. In this review, we provide an overview of the organoid history and development. We discuss the strengths and limitations of organoids, as well as their potential applications in the laboratory and the clinic.