Islet-on-a-chip provides an optical window into cellular metabolism and insulin secretion

Dr. Jonathan Rocheleau
Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering, Toronto General Hospital Research Institute, University Health Network, Toronto; Department of Physiology, The Banting and Best Diabetes Centre, University of Toronto
Thursday, January 30, 2020 - 12:00pm
McLennan Physical Laboratories, Room MP606
Many labs are actively exploring how beta-cell heterogeneity impacts pancreatic islet glucose-stimulated insulin secretion and type 2 diabetes. In particular, beta cells show significant metabolic variability, yet how this variability ultimately dictates islet function is unclear. Since beta-cells are electrically coupled to one another, we hypothesize that a small fraction of over-active beta-cells dictate islet secretion and would bury an underlying phenotype that determines progression of the disease. Our goal is to simultaneously assay: (i) beta-cell metabolic heterogeneity using quantitative fluorescence microscopy (e.g. genetically encoded metabolic sensors) and (ii) pancreatic islet function using microfluidic chip fluorescence assays. Islets in our islet-on-a-chip devices are held against a glass coverslip facilitating live cell imaging with controlled non-turbulent laminar flow. My talk will summarize our efforts to build fluorescence sensors into these devices to dynamically assay oxygen consumption rate (OCR) and insulin secretion.
Dr. Wilson Zeng
BiophysTO Lunchtime Talks