As the incidence of type 2 diabetes increases, so does the number of studies on pancreatic islets, those responsible for insulin secretion. These pancreatic islands, also called islets of Langerhans, have a well-defined size, shape content, and distribution of pancreatic cell subtypes. Differences in pancreatic islet morphology may result in differences in insulin secretion. The representation of normal island morphology in a research model is the most important point in diabetes-related research. Many studies are performed on two-dimensional (2D) and three-dimensional (3D) models composed of insulin-producing β-cells of pancreatic islands or whole islands isolated from laboratory animals. Such models still do not fully represent the conditions in the body. Therefore, it is necessary to develop a new tissue model, which will improve research and will be an alternative to animal studies.
The subject of the invention is a flow-through microsystem that enables a spherical culture of pancreatic islet cells and their fluorescence imaging (Sokolowska et al. 2021). Three-dimensional cell culture with the use of Lab-on-a-Chip flow microsystems is one of the most dynamically developing methods enabling the improvement of biological research, mimicking the conditions in a living organism (Sokolowska et al. 2020). The objective of the invention may contribute to the development of a cell model useful for testing new therapies against diabetes in vitro.
Nencki Institute is a co-applicant with Technology University of Warsaw. The University is responsible for patent protection and commercialization-related activities.
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