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Next Generation" Differentiation Protocols for Generation of Stem Cell-Derived Beta Cells

Jeffrey R Millman, United States

Assistant Professor
Medicine and Biomedical Engineering
Washington University School of Medicine


Here we summarize recent developments for differentiating and maturing stem cell-derived beta (SC-beta) cells in vitro. Using a multi-faceted strategy of targeting certain signal transduction pathways and the state of the actin cytoskeleton, we can generate SC-beta cells with enhanced function. This includes displaying first and second phase insulin secretion responses to high glucose and rapidly reversing severe pre-existing diabetes in mice, maintaining this diabetes reversal for over half a year. Of particular note, by controlling the microenvironment during differentiation, the protocol is effective across a large number of cell lines, even lines derived from patients with diabetes. We expect advances in SC-beta cell technology to better enable translation to a new diabetes cell replacement therapy.


Learn the latest approaches for the differentiation and maturation and the assessment of SC-beta cells


Jeffrey Millman is an Assistant Professor of Medicine and Biomedical Engineering in the Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism, and Lipid Research at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. He received his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and completed his postdoctoral research fellowship at Harvard University. His research focuses on leveraging bioengineering tools and stem cell technology for generating and maturing functional insulin-producing stem cell-derived islets.

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