The ever-growing world of gastruloids: autogenous models of mammalian embryogenesisMore about Open Access at the Crick
During early development, extrinsic cues prompt a collection of pluripotent cells to begin the extensive process of cellular differentiation that gives rise to all tissues in the mammalian embryo, a process known as gastrulation. Advances in stem cell biology have resulted in the generation of stem cell-based in vitro models of mammalian gastrulation called gastruloids. Gastruloids and subsequent gastruloid-based models are tractable, scalable and more accessible than mammalian embryos. As such, they have opened an unprecedented avenue for modelling in vitro self-organisation, patterning and fate specification. This review focuses on discussing the recent advances of this rapidly moving research area, clarifying what structures they model and the underlying signal hierarchy. We highlight the exciting potential of these models and where the field might be heading.