Scientists are growing miniature organs to see how the coronavirus attacks the body.
These organoids based on lung, liver, kidney and intestine tissues reveal in a laboratory setting how the SARS-CoV-2 virus affects cells and causes so much damage.
According to an article in the journal Nature, they are crucially offering researchers an invaluable opportunity to experiment with medicines which could be effective against COVID-19.
Although researchers know how devastating the coronavirus can be to the body’s organs, it’s unclear whether some of this damage is caused by the virus directly or by the immune response it triggers.
Unlike cultured cells on a dish, organoids “resemble the true morphology of tissues,” said Thomas Efferth, a cell biologist at Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz, in Germany.