Precision-based modeling approaches for necrotizing enterocolitis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) is the leading cause of death from gastrointestinal disease in premature infants and remains stubbornly difficult to treat in many cases. Much of our understanding of NEC pathogenesis has been gained through the study of highly translational animal models. However, most models of NEC are limited by their overall complexity and by the fact that they do not incorporate human tissue. To address these limitations, investigators have recently developed precision-based ex vivo models of NEC, also termed ‘NEC-in-a-dish’ models, which provide the opportunity to increase our understanding of this disease and for drug discovery. These approaches involve exposing intestinal cells from either humans or animals with or without NEC to a combination of environmental and microbial factors associated with NEC pathogenesis. This Review highlights the current progress in the field of NEC model development, introduces NEC-in-a-dish models as a means to understand NEC pathogenesis and examines the fundamental questions that remain unanswered in NEC research. By answering these questions, and through a renewed focus on precision model development, the research community may finally achieve enduring success in improving the outcome of patients with this devastating disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberdmm044388
JournalDMM Disease Models and Mechanisms
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2020


  • Enteroid
  • Necrotizing enterocolitis
  • Premature intestine
  • Toll-like receptor 4

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Immunology and Microbiology (miscellaneous)
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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