Organoid microphysiological system preserves pancreatic islet function within 3D matrix

Sci Adv. 2021 Feb 12;7(7):eaba5515. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aba5515. Print 2021 Feb.


Three-dimensional (3D) multicellular organoids recapitulate the native complexities of human tissue better than traditional cellular monolayers. As organoids are insufficiently supported using standard static culture, microphysiological systems (MPSs) provide a key enabling technology to maintain organoid physiology in vitro. Here, a polydimethylsiloxane-free MPS that enables continuous dynamic culture and serial in situ multiparametric assessments was leveraged to culture organoids, specifically human and rodent pancreatic islets, within a 3D alginate hydrogel. Computational modeling predicted reduced hypoxic stress and improved insulin secretion compared to static culture. Experimental validation via serial, high-content, and noninvasive assessments quantitatively confirmed that the MPS platform retained organoid viability and functionality for at least 10 days, in stark contrast to the acute decline observed overnight under static conditions. Our findings demonstrate the importance of a dynamic in vitro microenvironment for the preservation of primary organoid function and the utility of this MPS for in situ multiparametric assessment.

Publication types

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