We hope you have enjoyed our monthly blog so far! In the first part of the year we focused on a variety of topics ranging from scientific applications in January (Axons), February (Retina), March (Organoids) and June (Human iPSC-Derived Neurons) to a Neurons and Viruses edition during COVID-19 lockdown in April and a Spike Sorting blog in May. For the first edition of the second part of the year, our must-reads were centered around the topic of Burst Detection.
Our August edition focuses on Beta Cells, the insulin secreting cells playing a central role in diabetes. We decided to highlight the article by Alassaf et al. who used a microelectrode array to test the functionality of pancreatic islet cells! You can find a short summary below:

Microelectrode Array based Functional Testing of Pancreatic Islet Cells.
by Ahmad Alassaf, Matthew Ishahak, Annie Bowles and Ashutosh Agarwal. Micromachines. May 2020.

Islets of Langerhans are multicellular clusters inside the pancreas and they maintain the glucose homeostasis of the body. The dysfunction of insulin secreting beta cells inside the islets results in developing diabetes mellitus. Electrical activity of these dissociated islet cells can be observed using electrophysiological techniques. In this month’s featured article, Alassaf and co-workers use multi-electrode arrays (MEAs) to monitor dissociated islet cells and correlate the results with glucose stimulated insulin secretion (GSIS) assays. They were able to detect more electrical activity of islet cells with high glucose stimulation in comparison to lower glucose levels. This study highlights that MEAs are sensitive tools for measuring dissociated islet cells in real-time and could support GSIS assays.

Read the paper here.

Besides the above-mentioned paper, four other publications that are highly relevant to the topic of Beta Cells can be found below:

  1. Functional identification of islet cell types by electrophysiological fingerprinting.
    by Linford J. B. Briant, Quan Zhang, Elisa Vergari, Joely A. Kellard, Blanca Rodriguez, Frances M. Ashcroft and Patrik Rorsman. Journal of the Royal Society Interface. March 2017.
    Read the paper here.
  2. Guiding pancreatic beta cells to target electrodes in a whole-cell biosensor for diabetes.
    by Eileen Pedraza, Aleksandar Karajić, Matthieu Raoux, Romain Perrier, Antoine Pirog, Fanny Lebreton, Stéphane Arbault, Julien Gaitan, Sylvie Renaud, Alexander Kuhn and Jochen Lang. Lab on a Cip. August 2015.
    Read the paper here.
  3. Resveratrol Influences Pancreatic Islets by Opposing Effects on Electrical Activity and Insulin Release.
    by Simone Brouwer, Theresa Hoffmeister, Anne Gresch, Lisa Sch¨onhoff, and Martina Dufer. Molecular Nutrition & Food Research. March 2018.
    Read the paper here. 
  4. Metabolic regulation of calcium signaling in beta cells.
    by Olof Idevall-Hagren and Anders Tengholm. Seminars in Cell & Developmental Biology. July 2020.
    Read the paper here.