Yokohama National University, Faculty of Engineering
(Bio Microsystem lab)

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● Tissue engineering

Pancreas research


Engineering insulin secreting pancreatic spheroids

 Rise of patients' number with Diabetes and lack of understanding of the reasons underlying this disease caused extensive research toward fabrication of bioartificial pancreas. Fabrication of pancreatic spheroids from β-cells that can secrete insulin seems to be the most promising direction on the way of finding cure for Diabetes. Although spheroids fabrication itself is not very difficult procedure, many factors influence insulin secretion ability of cultured cells.


 In our study, we aim to investigate influence of different factors (e.g. oxygen supply, cell type etc.) on insulin secretion of pancreatic spheroids. We used oxygen permeable PDMS chip to fabricate pancreatic β-cell spheroids from MIN6 and MIN6-m9 cell lines. Although in monolayer culture MIN6-m9 cells are known to secrete higher amounts of insulin, in spheroid culture MIN6 cells are outperformed MIN6-m9 cells. Moreover, MIN6 spheroids formed stronger and more round spheroids that secreted more extracellular matrix (fig.1).

Fig.1 Left-IHC and SEM pictures for MIN6 spheroids. Right-IHC and SEM pictures for MIN6-m9 spheroids.





● Vascular
● Liver
● Hair
● Pacnreas
● Bone
● Lab Chip/ MEMS
● Surface modification
● Microbe

Fukuda Lab, Faculty of Engineering, Yokohama National University