• Work on this briefing will commence in November 2023.
  • We will be accepting contributions until the early January 2024.
  • View our guidance for expert contributors

Reproductive organoids imitate the structure and function of reproductive organs. They are typically created in laboratories using stem cells or other biological materials (including artificial germ cells also referred to as gametes). Organoids can be used to study the development and function of reproductive organs, and potential fertility treatments. In some cases, reproductive organoids have capacity to form embryoids (embryo-like structures grown in vitro) with full human development potential. However, this research highlights ethical challenges, such as whether embryoids should be subject to the same regulation as human embryos. Further, there are ethical concerns around future possibilities for genetic modification, commercialisation of human tissue, and accessibility of potential treatments gained from the research.

This POSTnote will outline how reproductive organoids and artificial gametes can be used to inform fertility research and the evidence base for future opportunities. The briefing will highlight gaps in regulatory frameworks and review the scientific evidence and stakeholder perspectives for whether reproductive organoids and embryoids should be subject to the same regulation as human organs. It will consider the ethical risks of unlawful or unethical practices.

Work on this will begin in November 2023. We will be accepting stakeholder contributions until early January 2024.

Image by: (© By sola_solastock.adobe.com).

Related posts