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The Organoid Waltz

Looking back on the last decade and the emergence of a completely novel research field – namely organoid technology – we decided to let our organoids waltz in a dish, to welcome the new year.

This new decade we are entering holds an unprecedented potential for advancements in biomedical research.
How many groundbreaking discoveries will we witness in the next 'roaring' 20ties?

This installation, that will be on display at the Vienna Ball of Sciences 2020, is not only an homage to Stanley Kubrick, and one of the most epic scenes in cinematographic history. 

It is also a tribute to the beautiful city of Vienna, where we live and work and traditionally waltz to Johann Strauss at midnight to welcome the new year. 

And, it is dedicated to all those committed and hardworking researchers around the globe, many of them spending new year at their bench.


  • Musik: Johann Strauss II, The Blue Danube
  • Idea and Concept: IMBA
  • Animation/ “Organoid-Choreography”: The Gentlemen Creatives
  • Brain Organoids and Petri Dish: Courtesy of the Knoblich Lab/ IMBA


About Brain Organoids: 

The enormous complexity of the human brain makes it highly challenging to study.  In 2013, Jürgen Knoblich and his team at IMBA published a landmark paper describing a method for in vitro cultivation of 3D brain-like structures, so called cerebral organoids (Lancaster et al., Nature 2013). Starting with pluripotent human stem cells and using a 3D support matrix and a spinning bioreactor to promote nutrient distribution, the researchers were able to obtain small organoids within a few weeks. These organoids contained several different types of nerve cells and their anatomical features closely resembled those of mammalian brains, demonstrating a remarkable self-organizing capacity. Cerebral organoids mimic early human brain development in a surprisingly precise way. This opens the door to neurodevelopmental studies and targeted analyses of human neurological disorders that are otherwise not possible. Since induced pluripotent stem cells can be used as the initial source of stem cells, organoids can be derived from patients’ blood or skin cells. This technology has the potential to limit the numbers of animals needed for neurobiology research and to reveal evolutionary aspects of neurogenesis, and aims to bridge the translational gap between animal models and human clinical trials, allowing for more targeted clinical studies in the future.


original press Release


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