Integrated technologies for tracking organoid morphogenesis (ITOM)
The interdisciplinary project Integrated technologies for tracking organoid morphogenesis (ITOM) has been chosen as one of the new convergence environments funded by UiO:Life Science. The proposal received excellent reviews from the panel and the research group will include Njord professors Luiza Angheluta and Dag Kristian Dysthe.
Correlative imaging on different timescales of shear flow response of HeLa cells. Green: phase contrast. Red: high-speed (30 kHz) stroboscopic strain field. Blue: Ca2+ release inside cells on 1-1000 s timescale. The image is composed of feature extraction from images stacks of >1000 images. Further analysis reveals rhythmic Ca2+ response of cells.
The convergence environments consist of interdisciplinary research groups that will solve grand challenges in life sciences with methods from biology, bioinformatics, chemistry, computational biology, computer sciences, economics, genetics, immunology, languages, law, mathematics, medicine, musicology, pedagogy, physics, pharmacy, philosophy, psychology, special needs education and sociology.
The convergence environment ITOM will include two postdoctoral and two PhD positions where one of the PD’s will be at the physics department. The researchers will use advanced imaging technology and data analysis to improve stem cell derived organ representations.
There is a significant need for developing reliable human organ representations (termed organoids) for drug development, personalized drug testing, and (in the longer run) for organ transplantations. The advent of induced pluripotent cell (iPSC) technology has allowed developing in vitro human organoids that show features of the organs they represent but are significantly less structured and less mature than their human counterparts. The field, therefore, requires high-content tracking tools and algorithms to guide organoid development. Developing such technologies will represent a leap towards reliable personalized organoids with organ-like histology and functionality.
ITOM received excellent feedback from the UiO:Life Science review panel. According to the panel, the proposed research will address important research challenges to improve organoid development and the project was described as ambitious and innovative.