Diabetes Mellitus (DM) is a non-communicable disease, yet is one of the most severe epidemics in the world. It was responsible for 1.5 million deaths in 2012 and characterized by the lack of ability for the body to regulate blood glucose levels, resulting in hyperglycaemia. Since 1980, there has been an increase in cases, which saw the prevalence of this disease double as now 8.5% of the adult population are affected. All this, while there is neither a cure nor a long-term treatment option available. Therefore, it is of upmost importance to understand the pathophysiology as well as to test the efficacy of drug candidates. Unfortunately, drug discovery and subsequent development are vulnerable to high failure rates due to the reliance on non-human animal models utilized during initial testing, as human biopsies are extremely precious and loose functionality when cultured ex vivo. Hence, in this project we are developing a Pancreas-on-a-Chip system, which can serve as an in vitro model that adequately recapitulates human biological processes and responses.


K. Schlünder, M. Cipriano, A. Zbinden, S. Fuchs, T. Mayr, K. Schenke-Layland, P. Loskill
Microphysiological Pancreas-on-Chip Platform with Integrated Sensors to Model Endocrine Function and Metabolism
Lab Chip, 2024, 24, 2080-2093,

A. Zbinden, M. Urbanczyk, S. Schenke-Layland, L. Becker, J. Marzi, M. Bosch, P. Loskill, G.P. Duffy, K. Schenke-Layland
Collagen and endothelial cell co-culture improves β-cell functionality and rescues pancreatic ECM
Tissue Eng., 2021, 27, 977-991,

A. Zbinden, D.A. Carvajal Berrio, M. Urbanczyk, S. Schenke-Layland, M. Bosch, S. Fliri, C.-en Lu, A. Jeyagaran, P. Loskill, G.P. Duffy, K. Schenke-Layland
Non-invasive metabolic mapping of hypoxia-induced damage in a pancreas-on-chip system
J. Biophotonics, 2020, 13, e202000375,

A. Zbinden, J. Marzi, K. Schlünder, C. Probst, M. Urbanczyk, S. Black, E. Brauchle, S.L. Layland, U. Kraushaar, G. Duffy, K. Schenke-Layland, P. Loskill
Non-invasive marker-independent high content analysis of a microphysiological human pancreas-on- a-chip model
Matrix Biol, 2020, 85-86, 205-220,

J. Rogal*, A. Zbinden*, K. Schenke-Layland, P. Loskill
Stem-cell based organ-on-a-chip models for diabetes research
Adv. Drug. Deliv. Rev., 2019, 140, 101-128,


Project Participants

Katharina Schlünder

PhD Candidate