All models are wrong, but some are useful: Establishing standards for stem cell-based embryo models

Eszter Posfai*, Fredrik Lanner, Carla Mulas, Harry G. Leitch

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Detailed studies of the embryo allow an increasingly mechanistic understanding of development, which has proved of profound relevance to human disease. The last decade has seen in vitro cultured stem cell-based models of embryo development flourish, which provide an alternative to the embryo for accessible experimentation. However, the usefulness of any stem cell-based embryo model will be determined by how accurately it reflects in vivo embryonic development, and/or the extent to which it facilitates new discoveries. Stringent benchmarking of embryo models is thus an important consideration for this growing field. Here we provide an overview of means to evaluate both the properties of stem cells, the building blocks of most embryo models, as well as the usefulness of current and future in vitro embryo models.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1117-1141
Number of pages25
JournalStem cell reports
Volume16
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 11 May 2021

Keywords

  • embryo models
  • in vitro
  • stem cells

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