Patients' perspectives on the derivation and use of organoids

Juli Bollinger, Elizabeth May, Debra Mathews, Mark Donowitz, Jeremy Sugarman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Organoid research is enhancing understanding of human development and diseases as well as aiding in medication development and selection, raising hopes for even more future therapeutic options. Nevertheless, this work raises important ethical issues and there is a paucity of data regarding patients' perspectives on them. We report on 60 interviews with adult patients or parents of pediatric patients from diverse disease populations who receive medical care at a major academic research institution in the United States. Interviewees expressed broad support for organoid development and use. However, patients viewed brain organoids, and sometimes gonadal organoids, as morally distinct; and some organoid research poses moral concerns. Nonetheless, patients generally understood the potential value of such research and approved of it, provided it was aimed at good intent and conducted with ethical oversight and a robust consent process. These data should help inform conceptual and policy deliberations about appropriate organoid use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1874-1883
Number of pages10
JournalStem Cell Reports
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 10 2021


  • ethics
  • organoids
  • patient perspectives
  • qualitative research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Genetics
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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