OBJECTIVES: A coculture microfluidic chip had been fabricated to investigate the dynamic process of bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells migrating to the pancreatic islets in vitro.
METHODS: We fabricated a coculture microfluidic chip using standard procedures. On the chip, bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells and pancreatic islets were introduced respectively into two microchambers which could be connected by a traffic tunnel. Migration assay was performed along the tunnel, and the function of pancreatic islets was timely evaluated by analysis of insulin secretion in response to high-glucose-challenge.
RESULTS: The results showed that some bioactive factors excreted by freshly isolated pancreatic islets could enhance the migrating rate of BM-MSCs. Besides, pancreatic islets also showed a better survival and function by coculturing with bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells.
CONCLUSION: The results demonstrated that bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells had the ability to migrate to pancreatic islets and provide an apparent overall preservation for islet function. This microfluidic device was a potentially useful tool to mimic actual biological processes of bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells migrating to the pancreatic islets in vitro.