Testing, evaluation and development of a commercial protocol to differentiate hPSC-derived pancreatic progenitors into insulin-producing ?-cells in 2D monolayers and/or 3D culture systems

The generation of functional ?-cells from human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) for cell replacement therapy and disease modeling of diabetes is a strongly investigated area. Recent scientific breakthroughs have enabled derivation of large quantities of human pancreatic ?-like cells in the laboratory, but the protocols are currently not consistent or optimized for cells of various genetic backgrounds. We aim to develop a commercial kit to differentiate hPSCs into ?-cells with reproducible efficiencies between multiple cell lines. We anticipate for such a kit to support researchers in robustly generating cells for studying human pancreatic development, dissecting molecular pathways and gene functions impaired in disease, screening cells for drug discovery studies, and investigating the regenerative potential of ?-cells for the treatment of diabetes. We also believe such a product will pave the way for the design of a product that can support clinical trials and the scale-up of biomaterials for transplantation purposes in humans.

Faculty Supervisor:

Timothy Kieffer


Mitchell Braam


StemCell Technologies


Visual arts


Life sciences




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