The Development and Validation of a Bioartificial Pancreas Device for Drug Testing.
In 2010, according to the International Diabetes Federation an estimated 285 millions people worldwide are affected by diabetes. This number is increasing over time owing to a number of factors. The loss of insulin-producing cells (beta cells) is observed in both type 1 and type 2 diabetes and the transplantation of endocrine pancreatic islets can restore the required mass of functional beta-cells in these patients suffering from diabetes to achieve normoglycemia. However, this strategy is facing serious difficulties including i) the unavailability of a protocol allowing efficient and long-term islet transplantation, ii) insufficient islet yields due to inadequate isolation protocols and iii) function loss of beta-cells following transplantation. The LONG-TERM PROGRAM OBJECTIVE is to develop a chamber to support a high-density culture of endocrine pancreatic islets for insulin production.
This PhD project involves the following steps :
- To develop bioactive surfaces using low-fouling polymers, proteins and growth factors.
- To characterize the biological functionality of such scaffolds and surfaces using XPS, AFM, QCM, cell adhesion, and immunoassays.
- To culture islets of Langerhans in 3D static and dynamic (i.e., bioreactor) environments.
Candidates must have a background in engineering or physics with knowledge in cell biology. Candidates must be curious, creative, rigorous, and highly motivated. Candidates will gain knowledge in surface chemistry and physics, colloidal science, biomaterials, material science, tissue engineering, and cell culture.
Only selected candidates will be contacted. The realization of this research project is conditional on the availability of funding.