A reductionist organoid-based model to study how matrix remodelling and soluble signals impact cell fate decisions in human pancreas development

Rocio Sancho (primary)
Centre for Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine
King's College London
Eileen Gentleman (secondary)
Centre for Craniofacial and Regenerative Biology
King’s College London


The interplay between the pancreatic epithelium and its surrounding microenvironment is pivotal for pancreas formation. This project will establish new methods for monitoring and manipulating the pancreatic matrix, then investigate the key microenviromental factors that drive pancreatic cell fate decisions. We will combine mathematical models with synthetic hydrogels, AFM-based stiffness mapping, and multiple particle tracking microrheology to characterize and modify the matrix around human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived pancreatic progenitor organoids. We will then use these tools to understand how changes in the matrix’s mechanical properties and diffusivity impacts pancreatic progenitors differentiation towards the beta cell fate.


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Genes, development and STEM* approaches to biology
Area of Biology
Techniques & Approaches
BiochemistryBiophysicsChemistryEngineeringImage ProcessingMicroscopy / ElectrophysiologyMolecular BiologySimulation / Modelling