Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science




Thomas Boland


Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs in the body when the pancreas fails to either produce insulin (TID) or does not effectively use the insulin produced (TIID) and poses further health complications as well as an insurmountable economic impact.[1] Type I diabetes is an autoimmune disease characterized by a deficient amount of insulin production on account of the body’s immune system destroying its own β-cells.[2] Current diabetes treatment methods include the administration of insulin via injections or islet transplantation therapy. However, although both are viable options, they come with limitations that make the managing of this disease difficult. It is thus evident that there is a major need for the development of a treatment therapy that is quicker and does not pose much adverse effects on the patient. The purpose of this research project was to see if alpha cells can be transdifferentiated into beta cells when undergoing mechanical stress (bioprinting) as opposed to transdifferentiating alpha cells into beta cells without any added stress (non-printed). In this study, we demonstrated that bioprinted cells produced insulin when exposed to glucose after having undergone the transdifferentiation protocol as compared to cells that had not been subjected to the mechanical stress of the bioprinter. By successfully differentiating α-cells into β-cells, we may pave a path for an alternative cell therapy treatment method that can be used to treat diabetic patients in a health care setting as a means of improving patient’s health and quality of life.




Received from ProQuest

File Size

55 p.

File Format


Rights Holder

Atzimba Casas

Included in

Biomedical Commons