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Stem-cell based organ-on-a-chip models for diabetes research

: Rogal, Julia; Zbinden, Aline; Schenke-Layland, Katja; Loskill, Peter

Fulltext ()

Advanced drug delivery reviews 140 (2019), pp.101-128
ISSN: 0169-409x
Journal Article, Electronic Publication
Fraunhofer IGB ()
HiPSCs; Human in vitro model; Microfluidics; Multi-organ chips; Organ-on-a-chip; Type 1 diabetes; Type 2 diabetes

Diabetes mellitus (DM) ranks among the severest global health concerns of the 21st century. It encompasses a group of chronic disorders characterized by a dysregulated glucose metabolism, which arises as a consequence of progressive autoimmune destruction of pancreatic beta-cells (type 1 DM), or as a result of beta-cell dysfunction combined with systemic insulin resistance (type 2 DM). Human cohort studies have provided evidence of genetic and environmental contributions to DM; yet, these studies are mostly restricted to investigating statistical correlations between DM and certain risk factors. Mechanistic studies, on the other hand, aimed at re-creating the clinical picture of human DM in animal models. A translation to human biology is, however, often inadequate owing to significant differences between animal and human physiology, including the species-specific glucose regulation. Thus, there is an urgent need for the development of advanced human in vitro models with the potential to identify novel treatment options for DM. This review provides an overview of the technological advances in research on DM-relevant stem cells and their integration into microphysiological environments as provided by the organ-on-a-chip technology.