Murine lung organoids

Scope of the method

The Method relates to
  • Human health
The Method is situated in
  • Basic Research
Type of method
  • In vitro - Ex vivo
This method makes use of
  • Animal derived cells / tissues / organs


Method keywords
  • lung epithelial cells
  • lung disease
Scientific area keywords
  • Allergic disease
  • lung injury
Method description

Primary epithelial stem/progenitor cell populations are isolated from the murine lung using fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) or magnetic-activated cell sorting (MACS). Purified epithelial stem/progenitor cells are grown together with mesenchymal cells in Matrigel, a material enriched for extracellular matrix proteins to support organoid growth and differentiation, in transwell plates.

Lab equipment
  • Biosaftey cabinet,
  • Flow cytometer,
  • Incubator,
  • Microscope.
Method status
  • Still in development
  • Published in peer reviewed journal

Pros, cons & Future potential


Over the past decade lung organoids have become an indispensable tool for basic and translational research. These organoids can recapitulate lung structure and function ex vivo while being amenable to experimental manipulation and are hence a new and exciting model system to investigate lung biology.


Lung organoids do not yet recapitulate all of the complex structures and cellular interactions of the different regions of the lung, especially the highly vascularized and delicate alveolar region.

Future & Other applications

Lung organoids as in vivo replacement alternatives have not only the potential to address important questions in lung biology but also reduce the number of animals used. They can also contribute to the design of any subsequent animal procedures still considered necessary, so that any pain and suffering they may cause can be minimized.

References, associated documents and other information


Lung Organoids—The Ultimate Tool to Dissect Pulmonary Diseases?

Associated documents

Contact person

Smole Ursula


VIB - UGent