Microfluidic device for multimodal characterization of pancreatic islets

Lab Chip. 2009 Jan 7;9(1):97-106. doi: 10.1039/b809590f. Epub 2008 Oct 21.


A microfluidic device to perfuse pancreatic islets while simultaneously characterizing their functionality through fluorescence imaging of the mitochondrial membrane potential and intracellular calcium ([Ca(2+)](i)) in addition to enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) quantification of secreted insulin was developed and characterized. This multimodal characterization of islet function will facilitate rapid assessment of tissue quality immediately following isolation from donor pancreas and allow more informed transplantation decisions to be made which may improve transplantation outcomes. The microfluidic perfusion chamber allows flow rates of up to 1 mL min(-1), without any noticeable perturbation or shear of islets. This multimodal quantification was done on both mouse and human islets. The ability of this simple microfluidic device to detect subtle variations in islet responses in different functional assays performed in short time-periods demonstrates that the microfluidic perfusion chamber device can be used as a new gold standard to perform comprehensive islet analysis and obtain a more meaningful predictive value for islet functionality prior to transplantation into recipients, which is currently difficult to predict using a single functional assay.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Islets of Langerhans / cytology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Microfluidics / instrumentation*