Differentiation and Encapsulation of β-like cells for the treatment of Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus

Type 1 Diabetes (T1DM) is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system destroys the insulin-producing pancreatic β-cells and thus, an effective regulation of blood glucose level is no longer possible. A multidisciplinary research is currently ongoing in our team to set up a potential cell therapy for Type I diabetes. Herein, we aim to encapsulate hiPSC-derive beta cells in a well-designed microcapsule that could effectively control and regulate glycaemia in vivo. More precisely, our approach includes three main stages:

  • Optimize the differentiation of hiPSCs into insulin-secreting β-cells combining a 2D and 3D culture systems
  • Design of a hybrid capsule with a core/shell structure to encapsulate the differentiated β-like cells using the droplet-based microfluidic technique
  • Graft cell-laden capsules in diabetic animal models and study the recovery of normal blood glucose levels.

The project

The long-term goal of the UNamur ARC group is to develop encapsulated hiPSC-derive beta cells that have the ability to regulate the body glucose levels and maintain long-term functionality when introduced into the body. We hope to achieve these goals by adjusting fundamental mechanisms that govern cell-biomaterial and cell-cell interactions.

Our team



Prof. Thierry Arnould


Prof. Bao-Lian Su


Shadi Moshayedi


Myriam Neuman

Alumnus, former PhD



Myriam Neumann, Thierry Arnould, Bao-Lian Su, “Encapsulation of stem-cell derived β-cells: a promising approach for the treatment for type 1 diabetes mellitus”, Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, 636, 90-102, 2023.


Grégory Leroux, Myriam Neumann, Christophe Meunier, Virginie Voisin, Isabelle Habsch, Nathalie Caron, Carine Michiels, Li Wang, Bao-Lian Su, “Alginate@TiO2 Hybrid Microcapsules with High In Vivo Biocompatibility and Stability for Cell Therapy”, Colloids and surfaces B: Biointerfaces, 203(8), 2021.


Grégory Leroux, Myriam Neumann, Christophe Meunier, Carine Michiels, Li Wang, Bao-Lian Su, “Alginate@TiO2 hybrid microcapsules as a reservoir of beta INS-1E cells with controlled insulin delivery”, Journal of Materials Science, 55(1), 7857-7869, 2020.


Gregory Leroux, Myriam Neumann, Christophe F Meunier, Antoine Fattaccioli, Carine Michiels, Thierry Arnould, Li Wang, Bao-Lian Su, “Hybrid Alginate@TiO2 Porous Microcapsules as a Reservoir of Animal Cells for Cell Therapy”, ACS applied materials & interfaces, 10 (44), 37865–37877, 2018.



Funded by the Federation Wallonie-Bruxelles (FWB), ARC projects are Concerted Research Action projects that aim at developing university or inter-university centres of excellence in fundamental research axes and, where possible, that carry out basic and applied research in an integrated manner and aim to make economic and social use of research results. They are awarded based on academic excellence of the applicants, the added value of each research group to achieve goals of research project,  complementary skills of research teams and the methodology of  proposed research program. They typically last for 4 to 5 years. In case of inter-university project, each team is financely supported by its own institution

More information on the FWB website