An automated system that uses robots has been designed to rapidly produce human mini-organs derived from stem cells. Researchers at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle developed the new system. 

Microwell plate containing kidney organoids
Microwell plate containing kidney organoids produced from human stem cells by a robotic system. The yellow boxed region is shown at higher magnification to reveal individual organoids. Red, green and yellow colors mark segments of 3-D kidney tissue.

The advance promises to greatly expand the use of mini-organs in basic research and drug discovery, according to Benjamin Freedman, assistant professor of medicine, Division of Nephrology, at the UW School of Medicine, who led the research effort.

"This is a new 'secret weapon' in our fight against disease,' said Freedman, who is a scientist at the UW Institute for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine, as well as at the Kidney Research Institute, a collaboration between the Northwest Kidney Centers and UW Medicine.

report describing the new technique has been published online in the journal Cell Stem Cell

Continue reading the UW Press Release article by Michael McCarthy here

Read the Geekwire article here

Watch the YouTube interview with Dr. Freedman: