A new technique developed by UCSF scientists for building organoids (tiny models of human tissues) more precisely turns human cells into the biological equivalent of LEGO bricks. Called DNA Programmed Assembly of Cells (DPAC), it allows researchers in hours to create arrays of thousands of custom-designed organoids, such as models of human mammary glands containing several hundred cells each.
These mini-tissues in a dish can be used to study how particular structural features of tissue affect normal growth or go awry in cancer.
Ref: Programmed synthesis of three-dimensional tissues. Nature Methods (2015) | DOI: 10.1038/nmeth.3553