Multiplexed microfluidic platform for stem-cell derived pancreatic islet β cells

Ishan Goswami, Eleonora de Klerk, Phichitpol Carnese, Matthias Hebrok, Kevin E. Healy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Stem cell-derived β cells offer an alternative to primary islets for biomedical discoveries as well as a potential surrogate for islet transplantation. The expense and challenge of obtaining and maintaining functional stem cell-derived β cells calls for a need to develop better high-content and high-throughput culture systems. Microphysiological systems (MPS) are promising high-content in vitro platforms, but scaling for high-throughput screening and discoveries remain a challenge. Traditionally, simultaneous multiplexing of liquid handling and cell loading poses a challenge in the design of high-throughput MPS. Furthermore, although MPS for islet β culture/testing have been developed, studies on multi-day culture of stem-cell derived β cells in MPS have been limited. We present a scalable, multiplexed islet β MPS device that incorporates microfluidic gradient generators to parallelize fluid handling for culture and test conditions. We demonstrated the viability and functionality of the stem cell-derived enriched β clusters (eBCs) for a week, as assessed by the ∼2 fold insulin release by the clusters to glucose challenge. To show the scalable multiplexing for drug testing, we demonstrated the loss of stimulation index after long-term exposure to logarithmic concentration range of glybenclamide. The MPS cultured eBCs also confirmed a glycolytic bottleneck as inferred by insulin secretion responses to metabolites methyl succinate and glyceric acid. Thus, we present an innovative culture platform for eBCs with a balance of high-content and high-throughput characteristics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4430-4442
Number of pages13
JournalLab on a Chip
Issue number22
StatePublished - 28 Oct 2022
Externally publishedYes


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