Betalin uses cell therapy to combine human islets with the micro-organ matrix (MOM), to create the Engineered Micro Pancreas (EMP)
Islet transplantation is a widely used cell therapy technique which achieves normoglycemia (normal blood glucose levels) in diabetic patients. However, one of the biggest challenges is early islet cell death, this tends to occur before the transplantation procedure. This is thought to be due to the loss of the islets microenvironment during isolation. The extracellular matrix (ECM, a support network for your tissues and organs) has been shown to be critical for the functioning and viability of islet cells.
Even though islet transplantation has proven successful, around 2-3 transplantations will need to be performed to reach normoglycemia. In addition over time, beta cells lose their function resulting in patients needing to go back on insulin therapy.
Betalin's Micro-Organ Matrix (MOM) Technology
Due to the importance in the ECM in islet function, Betalin have developed a MOM scaffold that used a decelluarized ECM (a process to isolate the ECM from its cells).
This aims to mimic the islets natural microenvironment, providing the islet cells with all the required nutrients and gases for survival. The MOM allows a complex network of vascularization, so no islet cell will be starved, which improves the longevity of islet cells.
Our promising data has shown rodents transplanted with the EMP maintained normoglycemia for over 3 months comparatively to naked islet cells which only lasted 7 days
· Decellularized lung-derived scaffolds demonstrate eutrophic effect on β-cell function, which may be explained by the extensive capillary network present in the lung that providing the necessary basement membrane components essentials for beta cell functioning.
· Our in vitro data indicates that MOM supports islets for regulated insulin secretion in vitro for at least 28 days, and with higher levels of insulin compared to naked islets.
· EMPs efficiently support islet function as demonstrated by their ability to reverse hyperglycaemia for up to 90 days in a mouse model
Blood glucose of mice transplanted with either 150, 200, 500 Islet Equivalents (IEQ) over 39 days
Fancy reading more? Check out our papers:
1. Goldman O, Puchinsky D, Durlacher K, et al. Lung based engineered micro-pancreas sustains human beta cell survival and functionality. Horm Metab Res. 2019;51(12):805-811. doi:10.1055/a-1041-3305
2. Abualhassan N, Sapozhnikov L, Pawlick RL, et al. Lung-derived microscaffolds facilitate diabetes reversal after mouse and human intraperitoneal islet transplantation. PLoS One. 2016;11(5). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0156053
3. Sionov RV, et al. Beta Cells Secrete Significant and Regulated Levels of Insulin for Long Periods when Seeded onto Acellular Micro-Scaffolds.Tissue Eng Part A. 2015;21(21-22):2691-2702. doi:10.1089/ten.TEA.2014.0711