A New, Straightforward Ex Vivo Organoid Bladder Mucosal Model for Preclinical Research

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We developed an experimental ex vivo organoid bladder mucosal model that can be used for experimental research purposes to create alternatives to current animal models.

Materials and Methods:

We developed an ex vivo organoid bladder mucosal model by immobilizing a type I collagen scaffold on the bottom of a Transwell® insert, creating a 2-compartment system. Mucosal biopsies from porcine bladders were placed on top of the scaffold and cultured in different mediums. We evaluated the morphological aspects of biopsy tissue. Cultured samples were assessed by scanning electron microscopy, and immunohistochemical and histochemical staining for cell identification, proliferation and morphology.


Cells remained viable in Dulbecco's modified Eagle's medium/F-12 and smooth muscle cell medium for up to 3 weeks. The mucosa retained normal morphological characteristics for up to 1 week. Cells (mostly urothelial cells) proliferated and fully covered the scaffold surface within 3 weeks.


We developed an experimental ex vivo organoid model of bladder mucosa for preclinical experimental research. This model could be used for high volume screening for pharmacology and toxicology experiments. It has the potential to replace currently used animal models.

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