One team of the GIGA has developed an artificial sensory epithelia or “Mini Ear” in vitro model mimicking the in vivo organ equivalent.

For this purpose, otic progenitor cells (hOPCs) were generated using a reproducible protocol based on the differentiation of human induced pluripotent stem (hiPS) cells. Those hOPCs are at least 90% homogenous and can be frozen and thaw ad libitum. Those cells can be further differentiated towards inner ear hair cells using a stepwise method mimicking inner ear development.

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