Degree Name

Master of Philosophy (Biofabrication)


School of Chemistry


Pancreatic islet transplantation is emerging as a potential therapy for treatment of patients suffering from diabetes type 1. Whereas various studies have already shown the ability of this experimental procedure to normalize blood glucose levels, there are several factors hampering its widespread use and long-­term success. During the islet transplantation procedure, islets are exposed to a myriad of cell stresses, resulting in suboptimal clinical outcomes. Two main limitations are the lack of sufficient vasculature and the immune reactions after transplantation. In this study, the focus is put on the development of bioprinting platforms, which could assist in defining more optimal transplantation sites. By co-­‐encapsulating relevant cell types in a protective hydrogel environment, we envision to advance the current approach to pancreatic islet transplantation. In this project, the emphasis was put on bioink development. Whereas substantial work remains to be done, assessment of the target hydrogel blend (i.e. 2|7.5% w/v alginate|GelMA) in terms of rheological properties, stability, porosity, and biocompatibility has shown the promise of this base-­‐material for biofabrication‐based tissue engineering of bioartifical pancreatic constructs.