In a First, Fetal Cell Organoids Generated from Amniotic Fluid, New Study Reports

March 4, 2024

digitally enhanced image of an embryo

(STAT News) – As a fetus develops, its body is bathed in amniotic fluid: a warm, salty soup of nutrients, hormones, and antibodies produced by its mother. And into that fluid, a fetus is constantly sloughing off or peeing out cells, which provide genetic material that doctors can pull out with a needle and examine for signs of disease in a process called amniocentesis. Now, researchers working in the U.K. have discovered that some of those cells are still alive, and they can be grown up into three-dimensional organoids — mini lung, kidney, and small intestines — providing a possible new tool to study and even diagnose congenital fetal diseases. (Read More)