Samin Akbari

 

Postdoctoral Researcher

3D Beta Cell Homes Adapted to Live Cell Sensors

In vitro survival and proliferation of β-cells is an important challenge in biomedical engineering, and a long-standing obstacle for diabetes therapy because β-cells reduce their mass and lose glucose sensitivity in a week if they are cultured using traditional 2D cell culture techniques due to insufficient cell-cell and cell-extracellular matrix (ECM) interactions. We are creating ex-vivo 3D cell microenvironments using polymer microbeads that are the size of β-cells and are modified with cell surface receptors such as the Eph/Ephrin A ligand-receptor pair presented on β-cell membrane surfaces, and tissue specific ECMs that provide matrix environmental cues such as Laminin and hyaluronic acid for optimal glucose sensing and cell maintenance. To adapt the microenvironement for live cell sensors, we are examine the potential for surface-mediated direct transfection of primary beta cells or immortalized beta cell lines with the coded DNA plasmids.

Email: sakbari @ mit.edu