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Latest News: First year recap on progress in organoid culture technology

The LSFM4LIFE project has been challenging but rewarding from the very beginning. We have successfully transfered the organoid technology from the laboratories in Cambridge University to the labs of three partners, who attended a week-long training course in Meritxell Huch’s laboratory in Cambridge in order to learn about the culture of pancreas organoids in Matrigel.

Thanks to those actions, those three partners, Goethe University in Frankfurt, Insphero in Zürich, and Cellendes in Reutlingen, have started culturing the organoids independently.

At Goethe University Frankfurt, Francesco Pampaloni, scientific manager and coordinator of LSFM4LIFE, is advising PhD students and master students. They programed the image processing pipeline that they are currently applying to analyse the morphology of the organoids, particularly volume of the internal lum, number of cells, and volume and shape of the nuclei. Moreover, he actively develops optical and organoid culture technology.

Optical Technology

The organoids are demanding specimens for microscopy, because of their size, their complexity of shapes, and the presence of a strongly scattering surrounding extracellular matrix.

The LSFM4LIFE project is a three-dimensional cell culture technology. Its main goal is to develop a stadardized, xenogenic-free, and up-scalable culture of the pancreas organoids. In order to find the optimum gel concentration, stiffness, type, and concentration of ECM-epitopes recognized by the cell surface, we tested various synthetic ECM formulations. LSFM4LIFE studies also have another key goal which is conducted to identify the optimal culture microenvironment that boost the growth of the pancreatic progenitor cells for the development and the differentiation of the organoids, and that is able to sense glucose and secrete insulin.

Regarding LSFM4LIFE more fundamental research activities, we are researching the role of autophagy and ubiquitination for the growth and differentiation of the organoids. In parallel, we are studying the interaction of the progenitor cells with the extracellular matrix.

Future activities

A goal for 2017, is to produce high-impact research papers in collaboration with all consortium members. We will publish the results of the testing of the synthetic hydrogels on the pancreas organoids.

All throughout the LSFM4LIFE project, we will:

  • Work on standardizing the manufacture of hPO under xenogen-free and well-defined biochemical conditions, by optimizing biomimetic scaffolds.
  • Develop Good Manufacturing Practices – compliant human pancreas organoids for the cell-based therapy of Type 1 Diabetes.

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