Glucose-stimulated insulin secretion in isolated pancreatic islets: Multiphysics FEM model calculations compared to results of perifusion experiments with human islets

DOI: 10.4236/jbise.2013.65A006   PDF   HTML   XML   5,030 Downloads   8,033 Views   Citations


Because insulin released by the β-cells of pancreatic islets is the main regulator of glucose levels, the quantitative modeling of their glucose-stimulated insulin secretion is of obvious interest not only to improve our understanding of the processes involved, but also to allow better assessment of β -cell function in diabetic patients or islet transplant recipients as well as the development of improved artificial or bioartificial pancreas devices. We have recently developed a general, local concentrations-based multiphysics computational model of insulin secretion in avascular pancreatic islets that can be used to calculate insulin secretion for arbitrary geometries of cultured, perifused, transplanted, or encapsulated islets in response to various glucose profiles. Here, experimental results obtained from two different dynamic glucose-stimulated insulin release (GSIR) perifusion studies performed by us following standard procedures are compared to those calculated by the model. Such perifusion studies allow the quantitative assessment of insulin release kinetics under fully controllable experimental conditions of varying external concentrations of glucose, oxygen, or other compounds of interest, and can provide an informative assessment of islet quality and function. The time-profile of the insulin secretion calculated by the model was in good agree- ment with the experimental results obtained with isolated human islets. Detailed spatial distributions of glucose, oxygen, and insulin were calculated and are presented to provide a quantitative visualization of various important aspects of the insulin secretion dynamics in perifused islets.

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Buchwald, P. and Cechin, S. (2013) Glucose-stimulated insulin secretion in isolated pancreatic islets: Multiphysics FEM model calculations compared to results of perifusion experiments with human islets. Journal of Biomedical Science and Engineering, 6, 26-35. doi: 10.4236/jbise.2013.65A006.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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