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Autonomy in the Development of Stem Cell-Derived Embryoids: Sprouting Blastocyst-Like Cysts, and Ethical Implications

Universitätsklinikum, Institut für Anatomie, University Duisburg-Essen, Hufelandstr. 55, 45147 Essen, Germany
Academic Editors: John De Vos and Alexander E. Kalyuzhny
Cells 2021, 10(6), 1461; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells10061461
Received: 17 April 2021 / Revised: 23 May 2021 / Accepted: 4 June 2021 / Published: 10 June 2021
The experimental production of complex structures resembling mammalian embryos (e.g., blastoids, gastruloids) from pluripotent stem cells in vitro has become a booming research field. Since some of these embryoid models appear to reach a degree of complexity that may come close to viability, a broad discussion has set in with the aim to arrive at a consensus on the ethical implications with regard to acceptability of the use of this technology with human cells. The present text focuses on aspects of the gain of organismic wholeness of such stem cell-derived constructs, and of autonomy of self-organization, raised by recent reports on blastocyst-like cysts spontaneously budding in mouse stem cell cultures, and by previous reports on likewise spontaneous formation of gastrulating embryonic disc-like structures in primate models. Mechanisms of pattern (axis) formation in early embryogenesis are discussed in the context of self-organization of stem cell clusters. It is concluded that ethical aspects of development of organismic wholeness in the formation of embryoids need to receive more attention in the present discussions about new legal regulations in this field. View Full-Text
Keywords: stem cells; embryoids; blastoids; gastruloids; blastocyst; expanded potential stem cells; development; morphogenesis; self-organization; ethics stem cells; embryoids; blastoids; gastruloids; blastocyst; expanded potential stem cells; development; morphogenesis; self-organization; ethics
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MDPI and ACS Style

Denker, H.-W. Autonomy in the Development of Stem Cell-Derived Embryoids: Sprouting Blastocyst-Like Cysts, and Ethical Implications. Cells 2021, 10, 1461. https://doi.org/10.3390/cells10061461

AMA Style

Denker H-W. Autonomy in the Development of Stem Cell-Derived Embryoids: Sprouting Blastocyst-Like Cysts, and Ethical Implications. Cells. 2021; 10(6):1461. https://doi.org/10.3390/cells10061461

Chicago/Turabian Style

Denker, Hans-Werner. 2021. "Autonomy in the Development of Stem Cell-Derived Embryoids: Sprouting Blastocyst-Like Cysts, and Ethical Implications" Cells 10, no. 6: 1461. https://doi.org/10.3390/cells10061461

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