Functional human organoids, especially hepatic organoids hold immense potential in cell therapy, developmental biology, disease modeling, and drug screening when obtained from patient-derived cells.1 The translation of organoid technology into regenerative medicine is limited due to the lack of suitable culture system in vitro, typical reliance on tumor-derived basement membrane extract and difficulty in scaling up the resultant structure. This prompted the possibility of using the hydrogels of extracellular matrix mimicking biopolymers as support to regenerate and maintain organoids. Herein, the feasibility of generation of viable hepato-organoids with their morphologies (scanning electron microscopy) and key functionalities (immunofluorescence) are demonstrated using blended gellan gum - silk protein fibroin spongy-like hydrogel network with definite pore size and porosity. The patient-derived hepatocytes occupy numerous pores within the hydrogels, and the interconnectivity of pores attributed to the organoid maturation. Hence, this hydrogel system is anticipated to be a cheap, defined alternative to tumor-derived basement membrane extract for organoid generations.
We are grateful to Dr. Devanjali Dutta and Professor Hans Clevers for supporting one of us (BK) to carry out the entire organoid development work at Hubrecht Institute, Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, UMC Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands. BK wishes to express her indebtedness especially to Dr. Dutta and Professor Clevers for their excellent scientific and laboratory supports, and hospitality during her short stay. This work is financially supported by the European Union Framework Programme for Research and Innovation Horizon 2020 under grant agreement nº 668983 — FoReCaST; FROnTHERA (NORTE-01-0145-FEDER-000023); the European Research Council under ERC Advanced Grant Agreement no. 67013 and NIH NIAIH under R21 AT009174 and the Oncode Institute (partly financed by the Dutch Cancer Society and a grant from the Dutch Cancer Society); Investigator FCT program (IF/01214/2014) to VMC, and Investigador FCT2015 (IF/01285/2015) to JMO, and VENI grant from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO-ALW, 016.Veni.171.015) to DD.
 Hu et al., Cell 2018; 175(6):1591-1606.