A combinatorial protein microarray for probing materials interaction with pancreatic islet cell populations

Bahman Delalat, Darling M. Rojas-Canales, Soraya Rasi Ghaemi, Michaela Waibel, Frances J. Harding, Daniella Penko, Chris J Drogemuller, Thomas Loudovaris, Patrick T. H. Coates, Nicolas Hans Voelcker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Pancreatic islet transplantation has become a recognized therapy for insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. During isolation from pancreatic tissue, the islet microenvironment is disrupted. The extracellular matrix (ECM) within this space not only provides structural support, but also actively signals to regulate islet survival and function. In addition, the ECM is responsible for growth factor presentation and sequestration. By designing biomaterials that recapture elements of the native islet environment, losses in islet function and number can potentially be reduced. Cell microarrays are a high throughput screening tool able to recreate a multitude of cellular niches on a single chip. Here, we present a screening methodology for identifying components that might promote islet survival. Automated fluorescence microscopy is used to rapidly identify islet derived cell interaction with ECM proteins and immobilized growth factors printed on arrays. MIN6 mouse insulinoma cells, mouse islets and, finally, human islets are progressively screened. We demonstrate the capability of the platform to identify ECM and growth factor protein candidates that support islet viability and function and reveal synergies in cell response.
Original languageEnglish
Article number21
Number of pages13
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • ECM proteins
  • microarrays
  • pancreatic islets
  • high throughput screening

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