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Aline Zbinden

University of Tubingen, Germany

Sponsor: Dr. Katja Schenke-Layland

"Towards clinical studies on mature β-cell drug testing platform"

Aline Zbinden, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Tubingen in Germany, has received IFER funding from 2019-2021 for her project, “Towards clinical studies on mature β-cell drug testing platform.” Aline seeks to create an in vitro diabetes model, using organ-on-a-chip technology, to overcome the scientific and ethical limitations of using animal models for these studies. She will generate functional insulin-producing beta cells from induced pluripotent stem cells and mature them in vitro, circumventing the commonly used maturation process of implanting pancreatic progenitors into animal models, such as rodents. Aline will then incorporate the beta cells into a pancreas-on-a-chip, creating a human-relevant platform for drug testing, which will reduce the need for animal models for this condition.