Engineering The Microenvironment For 3D Culture of Pancreatic Beta Cells
Stability of the biosensor and, eventually the insulin-secreting bioeffector, cells is a crucial challenge of these molecular machines. Thus, at the outset of this project, we need to understand microenvironmental signals that regulate the glucose sensing and insulin secretion functions. This project will study why some cells like beta cells lose glucose sensitivity and how other cells, such as differentiating iPS cells toward beta cells, gain glucose sensitivity. This subproject will vary the 3D microenvironment and cell conditions and use epigenetics and functional readouts to identify 3D microenvironments for optimal glucose sensing in a broad dynamic range. This project is collaborated with Professor Richard Lee from Harvard Medical School and Professor Linda Griffith from the Department of Biological and Mechanical Engineering at MIT.