Insights into the stem cell niche have allowed researchers to cultivate adult tissue stem cells as organoids that display structural and phenotypic features of healthy and diseased epithelial tissues. Organoids derived from patients’ tissues are used as models of disease and to test drugs. CRISPR-Cas9 technology can be used to genetically engineer organoids for studies of monogenic diseases and cancer. We review the derivation of organoids from human gastrointestinal tissues and how CRISPR-Cas9 technology can be used to study these organoids. We discuss burgeoning technologies that are broadening our understanding of diseases of the digestive system.
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