Patent for a joint invention of the Nencki Institute and Warsaw University of Technology

The subject of the invention is a flow microsystem of Lab-on-a-Chip type, which offers the possibility of imaging the dynamics of changes of insulin secreting pancreatic islet cells in a 3D model, to be used in research of new therapies against diabetes and in clinical applications.

The invention is the result of research under the direction of Prof. Agnieszka Dobrzyń from the Laboratory of Cell Signals and Metabolic Disorders at the Nencki Institute and Prof. Zbigniew Brzózka from the Department of Medical Biotechnology at the Warsaw University of Technology.

In December 2021 the Polish Patent Office issued a decision on granting a patent for the invention entitled: "Flow microsystem for formation, culture and fluorescence imaging of three-dimensional aggregates of pancreatic islet cells" (patent no: PL239354, application no: PL431667, authors of the invention: Zbigniew Brzózka, Kamil Żukowski, Elżbieta Jastrzębska, Patrycja Sokołowska, Agnieszka Dobrzyń, Justyna Janikiewicz).

With the increasing incidence of type 2 diabetes and the need to accelerate the translation of basic research results into clinical applications, it is necessary to create new technologies that allow to reproduce, in an in vitro/ex vivo research model, the normal morphology of insulin secreting pancreatic islands. Three-dimensional cell culture with the use of Lab-on-a-Chip flow microsystems is one of the most dynamically developing methods enabling to improve biological research, reproducing conditions in a living organism. The invention developed at the Nencki Institute and Warsaw University of Technology is based on a flow-through microsystem that enables spherical culture of pancreatic islet cells and their fluorescence imaging.

The developed technology allows to create a cell model useful for testing new therapies against diabetes in vitro and ex vivo, and to increase the translation efficiency of these results for clinical applications. A detailed description of the concept and results that led to the invention was published in Biosensors and Bioelectronics (Sokolowska et al. 2020 and Sokolowska et al. 2021).

The research that led to the conception and development of the invention was carried out under:

- NCN Sonata grant, UMO 2015/19/D/NZ4/03705 "Stearoyl-CoA desaturase 1 as a regulator of biogenesis and lipid droplet storage in fatty acid-induced pancreatic beta-cell dysfunction",

- NCN PRELUDIUM Grant, UMO-2019/33/ N/ST4/02416 "Development of a novel approach based on the use of a 3D pancreatic island model in a microfluidic Lab-on-a-Chip system for high-throughput functional analysis under physiological conditions and pathological state",

- Interdisciplinary Doctoral Studies TRIBIO-CHEM Project "From chemistry to bioinnovation for better life" funded by the Operational Programme Knowledge Education Development (2014-2020), co-financed by the European Social Fund.


The Institute is open to cooperation with an industry partner in the process of commercialization of the invention.

Contact person Dr. Dorota Gierej-Czerkies
Tel. +48 22 5892 263

24 January 2022