FEM-based oxygen consumption and cell viability models for avascular pancreatic islets.
ABSTRACT: The function and viability of cultured, transplanted, or encapsulated pancreatic islets is often limited by hypoxia because these islets have lost their vasculature during the isolation process and have to rely on gradient-driven passive diffusion, which cannot provide adequate oxygen transport. Pancreatic islets (islets of Langerhans) are particularly susceptible due to their relatively large size, large metabolic demand, and increased sensitivity to hypoxia. Here, finite element method (FEM) based multiphysics models are explored to describe oxygen transport and cell viability in avascular islets both in static and in moving culture media.Two- and three-dimensional models were built in COMSOL Multiphysics using the convection and diffusion as well as the incompressible Navier-Stokes fluid dynamics application modes. Oxygen consumption was assumed to follow Michaelis-Menten-type kinetics and to cease when local concentrations fell below a critical threshold; in a dynamic model, it was also allowed to increase with increasing glucose concentration.Partial differential equation (PDE) based exploratory cellular-level oxygen consumption and cell viability models incorporating physiologically realistic assumptions have been implemented for fully scaled cell culture geometries with 100, 150, and 200 microm diameter islets as representative. Calculated oxygen concentrations and intra-islet regions likely to suffer from hypoxia-related necrosis obtained for traditional flask-type cultures, oxygen-permeable silicone-rubber membrane bottom cultures, and perifusion chambers with flowing media and varying incoming glucose levels are presented in detail illustrated with corresponding colour-coded figures and animations.Results of the computational models are, as a first estimate, in good quantitative agreement with existing experimental evidence, and they confirm that during culture, hypoxia is often a problem for non-vascularised islet and can lead to considerable cell death (necrosis), especially in the core region of larger islets. Such models are of considerable interest to improve the function and viability of cultured, transplanted, or encapsulated islets. The present implementation allows convenient extension to true multiphysics applications that solve coupled physics phenomena such as diffusion and consumption with convection due to flowing or moving media.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Because insulin is the main regulator of glucose homeostasis, quantitative models describing the dynamics of glucose-induced insulin secretion are of obvious interest. Here, a computational model is introduced that focuses not on organism-level concentrations, but on the quantitative modeling of local, cellular-level glucose-insulin dynamics by incorporating the detailed spatial distribution of the concentrations of interest within isolated avascular pancreatic islets. METHODS: All nutrient consumption and hormone release rates were assumed to follow Hill-type sigmoid dependences on local concentrations. Insulin secretion rates depend on both the glucose concentration and its time-gradient, resulting in second-and first-phase responses, respectively. Since hypoxia may also be an important limiting factor in avascular islets, oxygen and cell viability considerations were also built in by incorporating and extending our previous islet cell oxygen consumption model. A finite element method (FEM) framework is used to combine reactive rates with mass transport by convection and diffusion as well as fluid-mechanics. RESULTS: The model was calibrated using experimental results from dynamic glucose-stimulated insulin release (GSIR) perifusion studies with isolated islets. Further optimization is still needed, but calculated insulin responses to stepwise increments in the incoming glucose concentration are in good agreement with existing experimental insulin release data characterizing glucose and oxygen dependence. The model makes possible the detailed description of the intraislet spatial distributions of insulin, glucose, and oxygen levels. In agreement with recent observations, modeling also suggests that smaller islets perform better when transplanted and/or encapsulated. CONCLUSIONS: An insulin secretion model was implemented by coupling local consumption and release rates to calculations of the spatial distributions of all species of interest. The resulting glucose-insulin control system fits in the general framework of a sigmoid proportional-integral-derivative controller, a generalized PID controller, more suitable for biological systems, which are always nonlinear due to the maximum response being limited. Because of the general framework of the implementation, simulations can be carried out for arbitrary geometries including cultured, perifused, transplanted, and encapsulated islets.
Project description:Islet transplantation in diabetes is hampered by the need of life-long immunosuppression. Encapsulation provides partial immunoprotection but could possibly limit oxygen supply, a factor that may enhance hypoxia-induced beta cell death in the early posttransplantation period. Here we tested susceptibility of alginate microencapsulated human islets to experimental hypoxia (0.1-0.3% O2 for 8 h, followed by reoxygenation) on viability and functional parameters. Hypoxia reduced viability as measured by MTT by 33.8 ± 3.5% in encapsulated and 42.9 ± 5.2% in nonencapsulated islets (P < 0.2). Nonencapsulated islets released 37.7% (median) more HMGB1 compared to encapsulated islets after hypoxic culture conditions (P < 0.001). Glucose-induced insulin release was marginally affected by hypoxia. Basal oxygen consumption was equally reduced in encapsulated and nonencapsulated islets, by 22.0 ± 6.1% versus 24.8 ± 5.7%. Among 27 tested cytokines/chemokines, hypoxia increased the secretion of IL-6 and IL-8/CXCL8 in both groups of islets, whereas an increase of MCP-1/CCL2 was seen only with nonencapsulated islets. Conclusion. Alginate microencapsulation of human islets does not increase susceptibility to acute hypoxia. This is a positive finding in relation to potential use of encapsulation for islet transplantation.
Project description:Major clinical challenges associated with islet transplantation for type 1 diabetes include shortage of donor organs, poor engraftment due to ischemia, and need for immunosuppressive medications. Semipermeable membrane capsules can immunoprotect transplanted islets by blocking passage of the host's immune components while providing exchange of glucose, insulin, and other small molecules. However, capsules-based diffusive transport often exacerbates ischemic injury to islets by reducing the rate of oxygen and nutrient transport. We previously reported the efficacy of a newly developed semipermeable ultrafiltration membrane, the silicon nanopore membrane (SNM) under convective-driven transport, in limiting the passage of pro-inflammatory cytokines while overcoming the mass transfer limitations associated with diffusion through nanometer-scale pores. In this study, we report that SNM-encapsulated mouse islets perfused in culture solution under convection outperformed those under diffusive conditions in terms of magnitude (1.49-fold increase in stimulation index and 3.86-fold decrease in shutdown index) and rate of insulin secretion (1.19-fold increase and 6.45-fold decrease during high and low glucose challenges), respectively. Moreover, SNM-encapsulated mouse islets under convection demonstrated rapid glucose-insulin sensing within a physiologically relevant time-scale while retaining healthy islet viability even under cytokine exposure. We conclude that encapsulation of islets with SNM under convection improves islet in vitro functionality. This approach may provide a novel strategy for islet transplantation in the clinical setting.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that destroys insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas. Pancreatic islet transplantation could be an effective treatment option for type 1 diabetes once several issues are resolved, including donor shortage, prevention of islet necrosis and loss in pre- and post-transplantation, and optimization of immunosuppression. This study seeks to determine the cause of necrotic loss of isolated islets to improve transplant efficiency.<h4>Methodology</h4>The oxygen tension inside isolated human islets of different sizes was simulated under varying oxygen environments using a computational in silico model. In vitro human islet viability was also assessed after culturing in different oxygen conditions. Correlation between simulation data and experimentally measured islet viability was examined. Using these in vitro viability data of human islets, the effect of islet diameter and oxygen tension of the culture environment on islet viability was also analyzed using a logistic regression model.<h4>Principal findings</h4>Computational simulation clearly revealed the oxygen gradient inside the islet structure. We found that oxygen tension in the islet core was greatly lower (hypoxic) than that on the islet surface due to the oxygen consumption by the cells. The hypoxic core was expanded in the larger islets or in lower oxygen cultures. These findings were consistent with results from in vitro islet viability assays that measured central necrosis in the islet core, indicating that hypoxia is one of the major causes of central necrosis. The logistic regression analysis revealed a negative effect of large islet and low oxygen culture on islet survival.<h4>Conclusions/significance</h4>Hypoxic core conditions, induced by the oxygen gradient inside islets, contribute to the development of central necrosis of human isolated islets. Supplying sufficient oxygen during culture could be an effective and reasonable method to maintain isolated islets viable.
Project description:In recent years, finite element analysis is increasingly adopted to simulate the mechanism of metal oxide semiconductor (MOS) resistive gas sensors. In this article, the chemical reaction engineering module in the COMSOL Multiphysics tool is used to describe the dynamic equilibrium process of oxygen ions in the sensor. The boundary conditions of temperature transfer, conductivity model, and mass transfer are applied to simulate the convection, diffusion, and penetration processes. The response of the sensor at different temperatures (445 K-521 K) and different target gas concentrations (1-500 ppm) is simulated. In this paper, the dynamic model of oxygen ions is used creatively as a bridge between gas concentration and sensor response instead of the traditional direct parameter fitting method. The simulated result of the surface oxygen ion control and permeability control model of the MOS gas sensor shows a good agreement with the real sensor. For explaining the principle of metal oxide semiconductor gas sensors simulations has been performed on COMSOL Multiphysics software. The proposed method in this paper is based on the underlying transfer logic of the sensor signal, it is expected to predict the sensor signal and assist the sensor design.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Oxygen consumption reflects multiple processes in pancreatic islets including mechanisms contributing to insulin secretion, oxidative stress and viability, providing an important readout in studies of islet function, islet viability and drug testing. Due to the scarcity, heterogeneity, and intrinsic kinetic properties of individual islets, it would be of great benefit to detect oxygen consumption by single islets. We present a novel method we have developed to image oxygen in single islets. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:Using a microfluidics system, individual islets and a fluorescent oxygen-sensitive dye were encased within a thin alginate polymer layer. Insulin secretion by the encapsulated islets was normal. Fluorescent signal from the encased dye, detected using a standard inverted fluorescence microscope and digital camera, was stable and proportional to the amount of oxygen in the media. When integrated into a perifusion system, the sensing system detected changes in response to metabolic substrates, mitochondrial poisons, and induced-oscillations. Glucose responses averaged 30.1±7.1% of the response to a metabolic inhibitor (cyanide), increases were observed in all cases (n = 6), and the system was able to resolve changes in oxygen consumption that had a period greater than 0.5 minutes. The sensing system operated similarly from 2-48 hours following encapsulation, and viability and function of the islets were not significantly affected by the encapsulation process. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE:An oxygen-dependent dye situated around and within a pancreatic islet encapsulated by a thin layer of alginate was sensitive to changes in oxygen consumption, and was not harmful to the function or viability of islets over the course of two days. The microcapsule-based sensing method is particularly suited to assessing the effects of compounds (dose responses and time courses) and chronic changes occurring over the course of days. The approach should be applicable to other cell types and dyes sensitive to other biologically important molecules.
Project description:<h4>Objective</h4>Beta cells of pancreatic islets are susceptible to functional deficits and damage by hypoxia. Here we aimed to characterize such effects and to test for and pharmacological means to alleviate a negative impact of hypoxia.<h4>Methods and design</h4>Rat and human pancreatic islets were subjected to 5.5 h of hypoxia after which functional and viability parameters were measured subsequent to the hypoxic period and/or following a 22 h re-oxygenation period. Preconditioning with diazoxide or other agents was usually done during a 22 h period prior to hypoxia.<h4>Results</h4>Insulin contents decreased by 23% after 5.5 h of hypoxia and by 61% after a re-oxygenation period. Preconditioning with diazoxide time-dependently alleviated these hypoxia effects in rat and human islets. Hypoxia reduced proinsulin biosynthesis ((3)H-leucine incorporation into proinsulin) by 35%. Preconditioning counteracted this decrease by 91%. Preconditioning reduced hypoxia-induced necrosis by 40%, attenuated lowering of proteins of mitochondrial complexes I-IV and enhanced stimulation of HIF-1-alpha and phosphorylated AMPK proteins. Preconditioning by diazoxide was abolished by co-exposure to tolbutamide or elevated potassium (i.e. conditions which increase Ca(2+) inflow). Preconditioning with nifedipine, a calcium channel blocker, partly reproduced effects of diazoxide. Both diazoxide and nifedipine moderately reduced basal glucose oxidation whereas glucose-induced oxygen consumption (tested with diazoxide) was unaffected. Preconditioning with diaxoxide enhanced insulin contents in transplants of rat islets to non-diabetic rats and lowered hyperglycemia vs. non-preconditioned islets in streptozotocin-diabetic rats. Preconditioning of human islet transplants lowered hyperglycemia in streptozotocin-diabetic nude mice.<h4>Conclusions</h4>1) Prior blocking of Ca(2+) inflow associates with lesser hypoxia-induced damage, 2) preconditioning affects basal mitochondrial metabolism and accelerates activation of hypoxia-reactive and potentially protective factors, 3) results indicate that preconditioning by K(+)-ATP-channel openers has therapeutic potential for islet transplantations.
Project description:Islet transplantation for type 1 diabetes treatment has been limited by the need for lifelong immunosuppression regimens. This challenge has prompted the development of macroencapsulation devices (MEDs) to immunoprotect the transplanted islets. While promising, conventional MEDs are faced with insufficient transport of oxygen, glucose, and insulin because of the reliance on passive diffusion. Hence, these devices are constrained to two-dimensional, wafer-like geometries with limited loading capacity to maintain cells within a distance of passive diffusion. We hypothesized that convective nutrient transport could extend the loading capacity while also promoting cell viability, rapid glucose equilibration, and the physiological levels of insulin secretion. Here, we showed that convective transport improves nutrient delivery throughout the device and affords a three-dimensional capsule geometry that encapsulates 9.7-fold-more cells than conventional MEDs. Transplantation of a convection-enhanced MED (ceMED) containing insulin-secreting β cells into immunocompetent, hyperglycemic rats demonstrated a rapid, vascular-independent, and glucose-stimulated insulin response, resulting in early amelioration of hyperglycemia, improved glucose tolerance, and reduced fibrosis. Finally, to address potential translational barriers, we outlined future steps necessary to optimize the ceMED design for long-term efficacy and clinical utility.
Project description:Hypoxia is central to tumour evolution, growth, invasion and metastasis. Mathematical models of hypoxia based on reaction-diffusion equations provide seemingly incomplete descriptions as they fail to predict the measured oxygen concentrations in the tumour microenvironment. In an attempt to explain the discrepancies, we consider both the inhomogeneous distribution of oxygen-consuming cells in solid tumours and the dynamics of blood flow in the tumour microcirculation. We find that the low-frequency oscillations play an important role in the establishment of tumour hypoxia. The oscillations interact with consumption to inhibit oxygen diffusion in the microenvironment. This suggests that alpha-blockers-a class of drugs used to treat hypertension and stress disorders, and known to lower or even abolish low-frequency oscillations of arterial blood flow -may act as adjuvant drugs in the radiotherapy of solid tumours by enhancing the oxygen effect.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Pancreatic islets are heavily vascularized in vivo yet lose this vasculature after only a few days in culture. Determining how to maintain islet vascularity in culture could lead to better outcomes in transplanting this tissue for the treatment of type 1 diabetes as well as provide insight into the complex communication between beta-cells and endothelial cells (ECs). We previously showed that islet ECs die in part due to limited diffusion of serum albumin into the tissue. We now aim to determine the impact of hypoxia on islet vascularization.<h4>Methods</h4>We induced hypoxia in cultured mouse islets using the hypoxia mimetic cobalt chloride (100 ?M CoCl2). We measured the impact on islet metabolism (two-photon NAD(P)H and Rh123 imaging) and function (insulin secretion and survival). We also measured the impact on hypoxia related transcripts (HIF-1?, VEGF-A, PDK-1, LDHA, COX4) and confirmed increased VEGF-A expression and secretion. Finally, we measured the vascularization of islets in static and flowing culture using PECAM-1 immunofluorescence.<h4>Results</h4>CoCl2 did not induce significant changes in beta cell metabolism (NAD(P)H and Rh123), insulin secretion, and survival. Consistent with hypoxia induction, CoCl2 stimulated HIF-1?, PDK-1, and LDHA transcripts and also stimulated VEGF expression and secretion. We observed a modest switch to the less oxidative isoform of COX4 (isoform 1 to 2) and this switch was noted in the glucose-stimulated cytoplasmic NAD(P)H responses. EC morphology and survival were greater in CoCl2 treated islets compared to exogenous VEGF-A in both static (dish) and microfluidic flow culture.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Hypoxia induction using CoCl2 had a positive effect on islet EC morphology and survival with limited impact on beta-cell metabolism, function, and survival. The EC response appears to be due to endogenous production and secretion of angiogenic factors (e.g. VEGF-A), and mechanistically independent from survival induced by serum albumin.