Research ArticleAPPLIED SCIENCES AND ENGINEERING

A 3D culture platform enables development of zinc-binding prodrugs for targeted proliferation of β cells

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science Advances  18 Nov 2020:
Vol. 6, no. 47, eabc3207
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abc3207

Abstract

Advances in treating β cell loss include islet replacement therapies or increasing cell proliferation rate in type 1 and type 2 diabetes, respectively. We propose developing multiple proliferation-inducing prodrugs that target high concentration of zinc ions in β cells. Unfortunately, typical two-dimensional (2D) cell cultures do not mimic in vivo conditions, displaying a markedly lowered zinc content, while 3D culture systems are laborious and expensive. Therefore, we developed the Disque Platform (DP)—a high-fidelity culture system where stem cell–derived β cells are reaggregated into thin, 3D discs within 2D 96-well plates. We validated the DP against standard 2D and 3D cultures and interrogated our zinc-activated prodrugs, which release their cargo upon zinc chelation—so preferentially in β cells. Through developing a reliable screening platform that bridges the advantages of 2D and 3D culture systems, we identified an effective hit that exhibits 2.4-fold increase in β cell proliferation compared to harmine.

https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, so long as the resultant use is not for commercial advantage and provided the original work is properly cited.

View Full Text

Stay Connected to Science Advances