Education & Certifications

  • Bachelor of Science, University of California Irvine, Biological Sciences (2024)

All Publications

  • A vascularized 3D model of the human pancreatic islet forex vivostudy of immune cell-islet interaction. Biofabrication Bender, R. H., O'Donnell, B. T., Shergill, B., Pham, B. Q., Tahmouresie, S., Sanchez, C. N., Juat, D. J., Hatch, M. M., Shirure, V. S., Wortham, M., Nguyen-Ngoc, K. V., Jun, Y., Gaetani, R., Christman, K. L., Teyton, L., George, S. C., Sander, M., Hughes, C. C. 2024; 16 (2)


    Insulin is an essential regulator of blood glucose homeostasis that is produced exclusively byβcells within the pancreatic islets of healthy individuals. In those affected by diabetes, immune inflammation, damage, and destruction of isletβcells leads to insulin deficiency and hyperglycemia. Current efforts to understand the mechanisms underlyingβcell damage in diabetes rely onin vitro-cultured cadaveric islets. However, isolation of these islets involves removal of crucial matrix and vasculature that supports islets in the intact pancreas. Unsurprisingly, these islets demonstrate reduced functionality over time in standard culture conditions, thereby limiting their value for understanding native islet biology. Leveraging a novel, vascularized micro-organ (VMO) approach, we have recapitulated elements of the native pancreas by incorporating isolated human islets within a three-dimensional matrix nourished by living, perfusable blood vessels. Importantly, these islets show long-term viability and maintain robust glucose-stimulated insulin responses. Furthermore, vessel-mediated delivery of immune cells to these tissues provides a model to assess islet-immune cell interactions and subsequent islet killing-key steps in type 1 diabetes pathogenesis. Together, these results establish the islet-VMO as a novel,ex vivoplatform for studying human islet biology in both health and disease.

    View details for DOI 10.1088/1758-5090/ad17d0

    View details for PubMedID 38128127

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC10782895