Features | Partner Sites | Information | LinkXpress
Sign In
GLOBETECH PUBLISHING
PZ HTL SA
GLOBETECH PUBLISHING

3D Culture Designed to Grow Miniature Pancreas

By BiotechDaily International staff writers
Posted on 30 Oct 2013
Image: A new 3D culture method allows cell material from mice to grow vividly in tree-like structures (Photo courtesy of University of Copenhagen).
Image: A new 3D culture method allows cell material from mice to grow vividly in tree-like structures (Photo courtesy of University of Copenhagen).
An international team of researchers has successfully developed a three-dimensional (3D) approach to grow miniature pancreas from progenitor cells. The next objective of the research is to use this technology in the fight against diabetes.

The research findings published November 1, 2013, in the journal Development. Prof. Anne Grapin-Botton and her coworkers from the University of Copenhagen (Denmark) have developed a 3D culture technology that enables the effective expansion of pancreatic cells. The new method allows the cell components from mice to grow vividly in picturesque tree-like structures. The technique has great long-term possibilities in building miniature human pancreas from human stem cells. These human miniature organs would be useful as models to evaluate new drugs quickly and effectively and without resorting to animal models.

“The new method allows the cell material to take a three-dimensional shape enabling them to multiply more freely. It's like a plant where you use effective fertilizer, think of the laboratory like a garden and the scientist being the gardener,” said Prof. Grapin-Botton.

The cells do not flourish and develop all by themselves, and a minimum of four pancreatic cells close together is required for ensuing organoid development. “We found that the cells of the pancreas develop better in a gel in three-dimensions than when they are attached and flattened at the bottom of a culture plate. Under optimal conditions, the initial clusters of a few cells have proliferated into 40,000 cells within a week. After growing a lot, they transform into cells that make either digestive enzymes or hormones like insulin and they self-organize into branched pancreatic organoids that are amazingly similar to the pancreas,” added Prof. Grapin-Botton.

The scientists used this system to find that the cells of the pancreas are sensitive to their physical environment such as to contact with other cells and the stiffness of the gel. An effective cellular therapy for diabetes is dependent on the generation of sufficient quantities of functional beta cells. Recent studies have enabled the production of pancreatic precursors but efforts to expand these cells and differentiate them into insulin-producing beta cells have proved a challenge.

“We think this is an important step towards the production of cells for diabetes therapy, both to produce mini-organs for drug testing and insulin-producing cells as spare parts. We show that the pancreatic cells care not only about how you feed them but need to be grown in the right physical environment. We are now trying to adapt this method to human stem cells,” concluded Prof. Grapin-Botton.

Related Links:

University of Copenhagen



Channels

Genomics/Proteomics

view channel
Image: The TheraCyte cell encapsulation device (Photo courtesy of TheraCyte, Inc.).

Encapsulated Human-Insulin-Producing Progenitor Cells Cure Diabetes in Mouse Model

A breakthrough system that allows subcutaneous implantation of encapsulated immature pancreatic cells (beta progenitor cells) was shown to produce enough insulin to correct the symptoms of diabetes in a mouse model.... Read more

Drug Discovery

view channel
Image: Chitosan is derived from the shells of shrimp and other sea crustaceans, including Alaskan pink shrimp, pictured here (Photo courtesy of NOAA - [US] National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration).

Chitosan Treatment Clears the Way for Antibiotics to Eliminate Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections

Recurrent urinary tract infection was successfully resolved in a mouse model by treatment with the exfoliant chitosan followed by a round of antibiotics. Bacterial urinary tract infection (UTI), most... Read more

Biochemistry

view channel

Mitochondrial Cause of Aging Can Be Reversed

Researchers have found a cause of aging in lab animals that can be reversed, possibly providing an avenue for new treatments for age-related diseases including type 2 diabetes, cancer, muscle wasting, and inflammatory diseases. The researchers plan to begin human trials late 2014. The study, which was published December... Read more

Therapeutics

view channel

Cytokine Identified That Causes Mucositis in Cancer Therapy Patients

The action of the cytokine interleukin 1-beta (IL-1beta) has been found to underlie the onset of mucositis, a common, severe side effect of chemotherapy and irradiation of cancer patients. Mucositis occurs as a result of cell death in reaction to chemo- or radiotherapy. The mucosal lining of the mouth becomes thin, may... Read more

Business

view channel

Analytical Sciences Trade Fair Declared a Rousing Success

Organizers of this year's 24th "analytica" biosciences trade fair have reported significant increases in both the number of visitors and exhibitors compared to the 2012 event. The analytica trade fair for laboratory technology, analysis, and biotechnology has been held at the Munich (Germany) Trade Fair Center every... Read more
 
Copyright © 2000-2014 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.