Test it and Weep
Scientists successfully make artificial tear ducts cry, offering a chance to study, and treat, eye disorders
A Dutch lab based at the University Medical Center in Utrecht made their lacrimal tear organoids cry, a watershed moment in the study of dry eye conditions like Sjogren's. The findings, reported this week in the journal Cell Stem Cell, are the first tear-gland organoids--three dimensional assemblages of cells that are designed to resemble miniature versions of organs. The study was led by developmental biologist Hans Clever.
Clevers’ lab used their expertise to work out culturing conditions for cells from mouse and human lacrimal glands. To stimulate tear production, they then exposed their organoids to several chemicals, including the neurotransmitter norepinephrine, that relay messages between nerve cells and glands.
Check out the entire story in Nature.