Engineering 3D pancreatic tissue constructs capable of mimicking complex tissue physiology and functionalities harbors an amazing potential for studying organ biology and physiology as well as pathophysiology of diabetes, pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer. Pancreatic disorders, such as diabetes, pancreatitis, and pancreatic cancer, are complex diseases that represent a major threat for human health as well as a considerable economic and societal burden on Europe.
A significant impediment to mechanistic studies of these diseases and to the development of therapies is the shortage of available pancreatic tissues and the inability to sustain mature pancreatic tissue cultures.
Current 2D culture conditions do not take into account critical cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions for pancreatic cell formation and function and there is no system available that supports the full function of either islets or exocrine acini for more than a few days in culture. To fill this gap, Pan3DP aims at engineering 3D pancreatic tissue that closely mimics the in vivo cellular organization and structure using high-resolution bioprinting technology.