Researchers grow 'mini human stomachs' in lab dishes with stem cells

It might seem shocking to you, but thanks to the scientists, who have now grown miniature stomachs in laboratory using stem cells.

Updated: Oct 30, 2014, 10:03 AM IST

Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: It might seem shocking to you, but thanks to the scientists, who have now grown miniature stomachs in laboratory using stem cells.

According to a study published in the journal Nature, researchers have grown stomachs measuring 0.1 inches (3 millimeters) in diameter, in petri dishes.

Called gastric organoids, the lab-dish tissue comprises buds of cells that are "a miniature version of the stomach", the researchers said.

The scientists used two different types of stem cells, one derived from early-stage embryos and the other derived from adult human skin cells reprogrammed to their juvenile state, called induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS). Then these were treated with various chemicals which led to construction of gastric tissue that look like stomachs of developing fetuses.

The study is certainly a breakthrough and paves way for hope to treat ulcers, stomach cancer and perhaps even grow replacement stomachs some day. The researchers believe that organoids can still help in studying about stomach diseases if not replace a 'real' stomach.

(With Agency inputs)