Scientists Grew Tiny Tear Glands in a Dish–Then Made Them Cry

March 18, 2021

(Nature) – At first, it took a long time — up to a day — to make the cells cry. But, with experience and a little prodding, the researchers eventually made them weep in only half an hour. The tearful cultures, reported in Cell Stem Cell on 16 March, are the first tear-gland ‘organoids’ — three-dimensional assemblages of cells that are designed to resemble miniature versions of organs. Organoids of the glands that produce tears could be used to study and eventually treat disorders that cause dry eyes, including an autoimmune condition called Sjögren’s syndrome.