Intestinal Organoids for Modelling Intestinal Development and Disease

The client: Dr Nicholas Hannan 

The brief: To produce a series of three figures to accompany a review of intestinal organoids, published in the Royal Society's journal Philosophical Transactions B. The figures demonstrated the different tissues present in both the small and large intestine; detailed the factors introduced to an intestinal stem cell to maintain it's multipotency or stemness and how this is measured; and the methods which could be used to harvest stem cells and grow intestinal organoids. 


Figure 1: the structure and cellular composition of the small and large intestine.

Detail: sections of the small and large intestine showing cellular makeup.

The growth factors and molecules introduced, and naturally present, to an intestinal stem cell in order to maintain 'stemness'.

Figure 3: Creating intestinal organoids from a direct intestinal biopsy vs. from induced Pluripotent Stem Cells.

Gross anatomy of human intestines, ink and digital.

Figure 2: detailing the molecules present in an intestinal stem cell (and their concentration) in order to maintain multipotency.


The outcome: Each figure was carefully researched, sketched, and finally hand drawn using ink. The individual elements were scanned, coloured and composited digitally, so that a vibrant colour palette could be used to easily identify the individual cell types.