The development and use of organoids and 3D cell cultures for virus research forms the core of OrganoVIR. For the development of organoids, human tissue and stem cells are used, which means that an organoid contains the DNA of its donor(s). This raises ethical questions that OrganoVIR aims to answer.


OrganoVIR has devoted one of its research projects to the ethical issues surrounding the development and use of organoids. This research project is carried out by Early Stage Researcher Andrew Barnhart, who will look at the following topics:


  • The current ethical status of organoids and the relation with the original donor(s)


  • The use of stem cells for the development of organoids as a new laboratory tool


  • The use of all organoids (not just gut, lung and HAE as studied in OrganoVIR), also outside the scope of virology


  • The ethical aspects and implications on policy of organoids (also in relation to the possibilities of human organoids for commercial purposes)
OrganoVIR's goal is to develop an ethical framework for the use of organoids to serve as guidance for all research fields involved with organoids.