S10509-N20: Photoacoustic tomography based analyses of pancreas regeneration in adult zebrafish

Institutions: Project leader: Members: Description
  • This project will use photoacoustic imaging (PAI) of fluorescent proteins in order to study the origin and behavior of regenerating β-cells in the model organism zebrafish. In all vertebrates, β-cells are the only natural source of the blood-sugar regulating peptide hormone insulin and in humans the loss or dysfunction of β-cells leads to diabetes. This project is aimed to improve the methodology for efficient generation of insulin producing β-cells to facilitate on new approaches to cell replacement therapies for treating type I diabetes. Zebrafish embryos are small and transparent and therefore they are a favored model for microscopic analyses of embryonic β-cell formation and regeneration.However, mechanisms of β-cell regeneration most similar to those observed in mammals have only been observed in older zebrafish that are too big to be analyzed by microscopy. In this project we will use transgenic reporter lines to establish and improve detection of deeply located fluorescent proteins by multispectral Photoacoustic Tomography (PAT) and Photoacoustic Microscopy (PAM) as methods to visualize β-cells in juvenile and adult fish. Further, we will generate novel PAI-optimized transgenic fishlines to enable fast high-resolution analyses of pancreatic cell types in adult zebrafish. We will complement the results obtained via Multispectral PAT and PAM with the well-established technology of Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT). Finally, we will employ this methodology in an in-vivo β-cell ablation/regeneration model to study the cellular dynamics of β-cells regeneration in the adult zebrafish.
Computational Science Center
University of Vienna

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