Organoid technology provides an unprecedented platform to study intestinal homeostasis circumventing many limitations of in vivo models. Intestinal organoids self-organize into morphologies that resemble the architecture of intestinal epithelium in remarkable detail and are amendable to deep molecular and functional analyses. Most homeostatic processes are faithfully recapitulated in intestinal organoids and thus provide means to study physiological processes. By adjusting distinct matrix components of the embedding organoid substrate, it is possible to precisely control the material properties of the tissue environment providing means to standardize experimental conditions of organoid cultures. The standardized experimental setup represents a well-suited model system to study tissue-scale mechanical properties of intestinal organoids in a controlled environment. Using quantitative light-microscopy techniques in combination with precision perturbations such as laser ablations and optogenetics, I aim to characterize potential contributions of tissue mechanics and mechanotransduction on key morphological processes that underlie tissue homeostasis in the intestinal epithelium.
Techniques: Organoid culture, live light-microscopy, optogenetics
Keywords: Intestinal Homeostasis, intestinal organoids, mechanotransduction