Order From Chaos: The Making of an Organ

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Allen Tseng

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Allen Tseng, Ron Weiss
Department of Biological Engineering and Koch Institute at MIT

This image captures a moment of transition—the self-assembly of differentiating stem cells into distinct layers. These cells have been programmed to become organoids—miniature, laboratory-grown approximations of real organs—that resemble the liver. The cells in red develop into hepatocytes, blood vessels, and other cell types. Those in green will transform into neurons.

The Weiss Lab is figuring out how to best control these processes. They hope to use the organoids to better understand human development, to discover and test new medicines, and, some day, to provide new options for patients in need of organ transplants.

Watch

Allen Tseng shares the story behind his award-winning image. You can also watch his presentation from the exhibit opening on March 8, 2018 here.