We are looking for a synthetic alternative to Corning® Matrigel® matrix to culture our intestinal cell organoids. Can you recommend one?

Answer

There has been a growing interest to evaluate synthetic alternatives for MatrigelÒ matrix to culture organoids. Researchers have shown that alginates and functionalized polyethylene glycol (PEG) formulations can support human pluripotent stem cell-derived intestinal organoids as well as organ progenitors from healthy mouse intestinal tissue. However, the researcher will need to tune the stiffness and functionalize the synthetic hydrogels appropriately. It is important to control both the biochemical cues as well as the structural support to get successful organoid growth. Here are a few links that address these methodologies.

Synthetic Hydrogels for Human Intestinal Organoid Generation and Colonic Wound Repair

Nonadhesive Alginate Hydrogels Support Growth of Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Intestinal Organoids

Designer matrices for intestinal stem cell and organoid culture

In this context, it is also important to note that many of these synthetic options may not be as robust as Matrigel matrix in its ability to support organoid culture. For e.g. synthetic formulations may support organoid growth from healthy intestinal tissue but not patient-derived organoids; they may not support the various morphologies associated with organoid growth (budded vs. cystic forms). In those instances of pluripotent stem cell (PSC)-derived organoids, one still expands PSCs in Matrigel matrix prior to moving to a synthetic environment; therefore a total synthetic replacement for Matrigel matrix is yet to be identified.

Corning recently launched new Matrigel matrix for organoid culture, an optimized ECM that provides the biochemical cues, porosity and stiffness to culture intestinal organoids.