Development of a new matrix for pancreatic islets culture and its validation in a bioartificial pancreas (BioArtMatrix)

Competition : Quantum Leap Québec –  France 2013
Funding : $1,133,800 / 3 years
Beginning : September 2014

Platform technology to (i) detect antidrug antibodies with unprecedented sensitivity and (ii) predict cellular-mediated immunological mechanisms using bioactivated low-fouling surfaces combined with quartz crystal microbalance (QCM).

Islet transplantation consists in the replacement of deficient cells in type 1 diabetic patients. This therapy can be proposed to patients with instable type 1 diabetes and life threatening hypoglycaemia unawareness. The major problem of the therapy is the recurrence of autoimmunity and the need of immune suppressive regimen which both can destroy the graft. A solution is under investigation by numerous teams worldwide: it is the bioartificial pancreas. Islets are then place in a module that protects them against the immune system and remove the need of immune suppressive regimen. That is the ideal way to cure diabetes and especially in children for whom the damages related to diabetes is irreversible yet. The MAILPAN which is the bioarticial pancreas used for this study can be reloaded when cells are dead. Although it presents the advantage to be able to be reloaded when cells died, an optimization of the viability of the present pancreatic islets in this device is necessary to limit the phases of filling. To improve their lifespan, the inner environment of the device needs to be improved, to become more “comfy” for islets so that they will survive and function longer. The purpose of this project entitled BIOARTMATRIX is to develop and validate in vitro and in vivo new combined matrix structure which could improve islet viability during free and encapsulated islet transplantation.

Patrick Vermette

Université de Sherbrooke


Séverine Sigrist

CeeD, Centre européen d’étude du diabète


Richard Bou Aoun Defymed