1Pharmaceutics & Pharmaceutical Chemistry, The Ohio State University
We report a procedure to isolate RNA with high integrity from the ribonuclease rich mouse pancreas.
1Pharmaceutics & Pharmaceutical Chemistry, The Ohio State University
We report a procedure to isolate RNA with high integrity from the ribonuclease rich mouse pancreas.
1Diabetes Research Center, Vrije Universiteit Brussel
This protocol describes an injury model involving the surgical ligation of the pancreatic duct in the adult mouse pancreas, resulting in severe injury that establishes an environment that allows beta cell neogenesis and proliferation. This model can be used as a tool to study mechanisms involved in beta cell formation.
1Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, School of Life Sciences, Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research, 2DanStem, University of Copenhagen
The three-dimensional culture method described in this protocol recapitulates pancreas development from dispersed embryonic mouse pancreas progenitors, including their substantial expansion, differentiation and morphogenesis into a branched organ. This method is amenable to imaging, functional interference and manipulation of the niche.
Published July 19, 2014. Keywords: Developmental Biology, Pancreas, Progenitors, Branching Epithelium, Development, Organ Culture, 3D Culture, Diabetes, Differentiation, Morphogenesis, Cell organization, Beta Cell.
Here, we describe a method for isolation, culture and manipulation of mouse embryonic pancreas. This represents an excellent ex vivo system for studying various aspects of pancreatic development, including morphogenesis, differentiation and growth. Pancreatic bud explants can be cultured for several days and used in a range of different applications, including whole-mount immunofluorescence and live imaging.…
Published August 27, 2012. Keywords: Developmental Biology, Molecular Biology, Cellular Biology, Medicine, Physiology, pancreas, organ culture, epithelial morphogenesis, confocal microscopy, live imaging
This video demonstrates a dissection procedure for processing human pancreas into multiple storage formats. Anatomical orientation is maintained throughout the pancreatic regions to allow definition of regional islet composition and density.
1Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, Center for Molecular Neurobiology, The Ohio State University, 2Integrated Biomedical Science Graduate Program, The Ohio State University, 3Comprehensive Cancer Center, The Ohio State University
Transplantation of isolated islets has been proposed to be a potential treatment for type 1 diabetes. Here we describe a method to isolate islets from mouse pancreata and transplant them to the subcapsular space of the kidney.
1Department of Nutrional Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2Department of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 3School of Pharmacy, University of Waterloo
Assaying in vitro β-cell function using isolated mouse islets of Langerhans is an important component in the study of diabetes pathophysiology and therapeutics. While many downstream applications are available, this protocol specifically describes the measurement of intracellular cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) as an essential parameter determining β-cell function.…
1INSERM U1052, Centre de Recherche en Cancérologie de Lyon, 2CNRS UMR5286, Centre de Recherche en Cancérologie de Lyon, 3Université de Lyon, 4Université Lyon 1, 5Centre Léon Bérard
In this publication, we describe a rapid and convenient procedure for isolating and culturing primary pancreatic acinar cells from the murine pancreas. This method constitutes a valuable approach to study the physiology of fresh primary normal/untransformed exocrine pancreatic cells.
Published August 13, 2013. Keywords: Cancer Biology, Cellular Biology, Molecular Biology, Biomedical Engineering, Medicine, Anatomy, Physiology, Surgery, Oncology, Pancreas, Exocrine, Cells, Cultured, Mice, Primary Cell Culture, Exocrine pancreas, Cell culture, Primary acinar cells, Mouse, pancreatic cancer, cancer, tumor, tissue, animal model
1Pediatric Diabetes Research Center, Department of Pediatrics, University of California, San Diego
A protocol to isolate, culture, and image islet cell clusters (ICCs) derived from human fetal pancreatic cells is described. The method details the steps necessary to generate ICCs from tissue, culture as monolayers or in suspension as aggregates, and image for markers of proliferation and pancreatic cell fate decisions.
1Umeå Centre for Molecular Medicine, Umeå University, 2Cell Transplant Center, Diabetes Research Institute, University of Miami,, 3EMBL-CRG Systems Biology Program, Centre for Genomic Regulation, Catalan Institute of Research and Advanced Studies, 4Dept. of Computing Science, Umeå University
We describe the adaptation of optical projection tomography (OPT)1 to imaging in the near infrared spectrum, and the implementation of a number of computational tools. These protocols enable assessments of pancreatic β-cell mass (BCM) in larger specimens, increase the multichannel capacity of the technique and increase the quality of OPT data.
Published January 12, 2013. Keywords: Medicine, Biomedical Engineering, Cellular Biology, Molecular Biology, Biophysics, Pancreas, Islets of Langerhans, Diabetes Mellitus, Imaging, Three-Dimensional, Optical Projection Tomography, Beta-cell Mass, Near Infrared, Computational Processing
This video demonstrates procedures for characterization of human pancreatic islets using hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) and immunohistochemistry (IHC). Pancreatic sections from head, body, and tail regions are stained by both H&E and IHC to determine islet endocrine composition (insulin, glucagon, and pancreatic polypeptide), cell replication (Ki67), and inflammatory infiltrates (H&E, CD3). The uncinate region is localized using IHC for pancreatic polypeptide.…
Published May 23, 2012. Keywords: Medicine, Physiology, type 1 diabetes, histology, H&E, immunohistochemistry, insulin, beta-cells, glucagon, alpha-cells, pancreatic polypeptide, islet, pancreas, spleen, organ donor
1Department of Molecular Genetics, Weizmann Institute of Science
Isolated pancreatic acini retain their in vivo morphology and activity and offer powerful ways for monitoring and manipulating secretion. This work demonstrates how acini can be isolated from the mouse pancreas, and how their secretory capacities can be assessed.
The following protocol outlines the process of pancreatic dissection for virtual slice imaging, and the subsequent quantification of all GFP-tagged beta-cells in the entire pancreas.
1Department of Pediatrics and the Herman B Wells Center for Pediatric Research, Indiana University School of Medicine, 2VITACYTE, LLC, 3Department of Medicine, Indiana University School of Medicine, 4Department of Cellular and Integrative Physiology, Indiana University School of Medicine
A detailed description of mouse islet isolation is described using the technique of in situ pancreatic ductal cannulation and perfusion of a combination of purified collagenase and neutral protease.
1School of Biomedical Sciences, The University of Queensland
We present here a protocol for the isolation of islets from the mouse model of type 2 diabetes, Leprdb and details of a live-cell assay for measurement of insulin secretion from intact islets that utilizes 2 photon microscopy.
Achieving high quality and appropriate quantity of human islets is one of the prominent prerequisites for successful islet transplantation. In this video, we describe step by step the procedures for human pancreatic islet isolation (part I: digestion and collection of pancreatic tissue) using a modified automated method.
1Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Monash University, 2Department of Visceral Surgery and Medicine, University of Bern, 3Cousins Center for Neuroimmunology, University of California Los Angeles
Improved understanding of pancreatic cancer biology is critically needed to enable the development of better therapeutic options to treat pancreatic cancer. To address this need, we demonstrate an orthotopic model of pancreatic cancer that permits non-invasive monitoring of cancer progression using in vivo bioluminescence imaging.
Published June 28, 2013. Keywords: Cancer Biology, Medicine, Molecular Biology, Cellular Biology, Genetics, Biomedical Engineering, Surgery, Neoplasms, Pancreatic Cancer, Cancer, Orthotopic Model, Bioluminescence, In Vivo Imaging, Matrigel, Metastasis, pancreas, tumor, cancer, cell culture, laparotomy, animal model, imaging
1Radiology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 2Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 3Radiation Oncology, University of Alabama at Birmingham
The goal of this protocol is to apply dynamic contrast enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (DCE-MRI) for orthotopic pancreatic tumor xenografts in mice. DCE-MRI is a non-invasive method to analyze microvasculature in a target tissue, and useful to assess vascular response in a tumor following a novel therapy.
1Endocrine Research Laboratory and Department of Medicine, Royal Victoria Hospital, 2McGill University Health Centre Research Institute
The zebrafish, a small tropical fish, has become a popular model for studying gene function during vertebrate development and disease. The temporal and spatial expression of target genes can be determined by in situ hybridization. Our improved protocol allows for the detection of low abundant transcripts with low non-specific background signal.
Published October 19, 2013. Keywords: Neuroscience, Blood Cells, Endoderm, Motor Neurons, life sciences, animal models in situ hybridization, morpholino knockdown, progranulin, neuromast, proprotein convertase, anti-sense transcripts, intermediate cell mass, pronephric duct, somites
1Department of Biotechnology & Bioinformatics, California State University Channel Islands, 2Department of Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism, Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope, 3The Irell & Manella Graduate School of Biological Sciences, Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope
A three-dimensional clonogenic assay that allows pancreatic-like progenitors to differentiate into insulin-expressing colonies is described. This method takes advantage of semi-solid media containing methylcellulose, Matrigel and growth factors, in which single progenitors proliferate and differentiate in vitro, permitting quantification of the number of functional progenitors in a population.…
Published November 28, 2011. Keywords: Developmental Biology, Pancreas, insulin-expressing cells, embryonic stem cells, colony assay, progenitor cells, 3-dimensional culture, semi-solid media, Matrigel, methylcellulose
1Pole of Cell Biology, Université catholique de Louvain & de Duve Institute
This protocol describes dissection of mouse embryonic thyroid anlagen and the culture of explants on semiporous filters or on microscopy plastic slides. This system is ideal to study morphogenetic or differentiation events occurring during thyroid development of wild type or knockout embryos, and is amenable to gain- and loss-of-function experiments.
1Division of Endocrinology and Diabetes, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Institute of Diabetes Obesity and Metabolism, Institute for Regenerative Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, University of Pennsylvania-School of Medicine
We have derived a strategy to detect sequential incorporation of thymidine analogues (CldU and IdU) into tissues of adult mice to quantify two successive rounds of cell division. This strategy is useful to detect cell turnover of long-lived tissues, oncogenic transformation, or transit-amplifying cells.
1Rangos Research Center, Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, 2Department of Surgery, Tufts University Medical Center
We describe a reproducible method of preparing mouse pancreatic acinar cells from a mouse for the purpose of examining acinar cell calcium signals and cellular injury with physiologically and pathologically relevant stimuli. A method for adenoviral infection of these cells is also provided.
Published July 5, 2013. Keywords: Cancer Biology, Cellular Biology, Molecular Biology, Medicine, Biochemistry, Biomedical Engineering, Acinar Cells, Pancreatitis, Transfection, Microscopy, Confocal, Calcium Signaling, Pancreatic Acinar Cells, Pancreatitis, Calcium Signaling, Cytotoxicity, LDH Leakage, cell injury, imaging
1Department of Medicine, University of Chicago, 2Laboratory of Biological Modeling, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health, 3Department of Surgery, University of Chicago, 4Diabetes Division, University of Massachusetts
Novel computer-assisted methods of large-scale procurement and analysis of immunohistochemically stained pancreatic specimens are described: (1) Virtual Slice capture of the entire section; (2) Mass analysis of large-scale data; (3) Reconstruction of 2D Virtual Slices; (4) 3D islet mapping; and (5) Mathematical analysis.
1Department of Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, 2Division of Diabetes, Endocrinology & Metabolism, Diabetes & Endocrinology Research Center, Baylor College of Medicine, 3Department of Molecular & Cellular Biology, Baylor College of Medicine
We describe hepatic neo-islet formation in STZ (streptozotocin)-induced diabetic mice by gene transfer of Neurogenin3 (Ngn3) and Betacellulin (Btc) using helper-dependent adenoviral vector (HDAd) and the reversal of hyperglycemia. Our method takes advantages of helper-dependent adenoviral vectors with their highly efficient in vivo transduction and the long lasting gene expression.…
1Department of Chemistry, Lehigh University
PAD4 is an enzyme responsible for the conversion of peptidyl-arginine to peptidyl-citrulline. Dysregulation of PAD4 has been implicated in a number of human diseases. A facile and high-throughput compatible fluorescence based PAD4 assay is described.
1Neuroscience, Genentech, Inc., 2Department of Discovery Oncology, Genentech, Inc., 3Department of Pathology, Genentech, Inc.
To obtain high-resolution images of fluorescently labeled cells within large tissues, ideally, the biological samples should be imaged without sectioning. 3DISCO is a straightforward tissue clearing procedure based on sequential incubation with organic solvents. Upon clearing, the organs become transparent allowing an end-to-end laser scan of the specimen.
Published July 7, 2014. Keywords: Neuroscience, 3D imaging, tissue clearing, transparent tissue, intact organs, optical clearing, histology, laser scanning, light-sheet microscopy, fluorescent imaging, 3DISCO, ultramicroscope
1Molecular Diabetology, Paul Langerhans Institute Dresden, 2Department of GI-, Thoracic- and Vascular Surgery, University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus, University of Technology Dresden, 3Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Metabolic Unit University of Pisa, 4Labs DC0522, Lilly Corporate Center, 5Genomics, Faculty of Medicine Imperial College London, 6Vital-IT, SIB Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics, 7Clinical Biochemistry, Hannover Medical School, 8Cell Physiology and Metabolism, Medical School, University of Geneva, 9Department of Pathology, University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus, University of Technology Dresden, 10R&D DIAB Division / Translational Medicine, Sanofi-Aventis
Laser microdissection is a technique that allows the recovery of selected cells from minute amounts of parenchyma. Here we describe a protocol for acquiring human pancreatic islets from surgical specimens to be used for transcriptomic studies. Our protocol improves the intrinsic autofluorescence of human beta cells, thus facilitating their collection.
Published January 6, 2013. Keywords: Medicine, Physiology, Anatomy, Biochemistry, Cellular Biology, Molecular Biology, Immunology, Surgery, Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2, laser microdissection, dissection, human beta cells, intrinsic autofluorescence, pancreas, partial resection, Diabetes type 2, transcriptomic studies, RNA analysis, islet
A thermal tumor ablation procedure is described. The entire procedure is detailed, including pretreatment planning and imaging studies, anesthesia, adjuvant techniques to facilitate a percutaneous approach, imaging guidance of the ablation device to the tumor, thermal treatment, post-treatment care and follow-up.
1Department of GI-, Thorax- and Vascular Surgery, University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus, University of Technology Dresden, 2Molecular Diabetology, Paul Langerhans Institute Dresden, 3Department of Pathology, University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus, University of Technology Dresden
The supply of type 2 diabetic islets for research is insufficient. Here we share our protocol for isolating islets from patients undergoing partial pancreatectomy. This approach represents a unique venue for obtaining islets from type 2 diabetic and clinically matched non-diabetic subjects in adequate numbers for basic and clinical studies.
1Department of Hepatobiliary and Pancreatic Surgery, University Hospitals of Leicester
Study of the animal organ physiology can be achieved by performing an experimental ex vivo perfusion system. The addition of a porcine kidney, as a homeostatic organ to our previously developed ex vivo liver perfusion model can be a principal step to achieve a better physiological environment.
1Department of Surgery, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 2Department of Oncology, The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 3Department of Surgery, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus
A preclinical, murine model of hepatic metastases performed via a hemispleen injection technique.
1Department of Biology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 2Nutrition Métabolisme Aquaculture, INRA UR1067, 3Laboratoire de Physiologie et Genomique des Poissons, INRA UR1037
In vitro culture systems have proven indispensible to our understanding of vertebrate myogenesis. However, much remains to be learned about nonmammalian skeletal muscle development and growth, particularly in basal taxa. An efficient and robust protocol for isolating the adult stem cells of this tissue, the myogenic precursor cells (MPCs), and maintaining their self-renewal, proliferation, and differentiation in a primary culture setting allows for the identification of conserved and divergent regulatory mechanisms throughout the vertebrate lineages.…
1The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 2Department of Oncology, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 3Department of Dermatology, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 4Department of Surgery, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 5The Sol Goldman Pancreatic Cancer Center, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 6Yale Cancer Center, Yale School of Medicine, 7The Skip Viragh Center for Pancreatic Cancer, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 8Department of Pathology, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
B7-H1 (PD-L1) and its binding to PD-1 provide a major tumor-induced immunosuppressive signal in the tumor’s microenvironment. An immunohistochemical staining technique to characterize the expression and localization of B7-H1 in pancreatic adenocarcinoma is described here.
Published January 3, 2013. Keywords: Cancer Biology, Medicine, Immunology, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Cellular Biology, Chemistry, Oncology, immunohistochemistry, B7-H1 (PD-L1), pancreatic adenocarcinoma, pancreatic cancer, pancreas, tumor, T-cell immunity, cancer
1Department of Chemistry, Louisiana State University
Two methods for assigning the α- and ε-dimethylamine nuclear magnetic resonance signals of a reductively 13C-methylated N-terminal lysine are described. One method utilizes the pH-induced selectivity of the reductive methylation reaction, and the other uses aminopeptidase to selectively remove the N-terminal lysine.
Published December 12, 2013. Keywords: Chemistry, Boranes, Formaldehyde, Dimethylamines, Tandem Mass Spectrometry, nuclear magnetic resonance, MALDI-TOF, Reductive methylation, lysozyme, dimethyllysine, mass spectrometry, NMR
The current study describes a directed differentiation approach in inducing pancreatic differentiation of human embryonic stem cells. Of great significance is the finding that endothelial cell co-culture mediates maturation of human embryonic stem cell derived pancreatic progenitors into insulin expressing cells.
1Department of Molecular and Biomedical Sciences, University of Maine, 2Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and Engineering, University of Maine
In vivo spatio-temporal interactions of pathogen and immune defenses at the mucosal level are not easily imaged in existing vertebrate hosts. The method presented here describes a versatile platform to study mucosal candidiasis in live vertebrates using the swimbladder of the juvenile zebrafish as an infection site.
1Stem Cells & Cancer Group, Molecular Pathology Program, Spanish National Cancer Research Center, 2Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona), 3Center for Stem Cells in Cancer & Ageing, Barts Cancer Institute, Queen Mary University of London
Pancreatic cancer stem cells (CSCs) can be expanded in vitro using the anchorage-independent sphere culture technique, which represents a powerful tool to study CSC biology and can serve as the first step to develop novel CSC-targeting therapies. Here the methodology for expanding, analyzing and targeting of pancreatic CSCs is provided.
1Diabetes and Islet Biology Group, NHMRC Clinical Trials Centre, Faculty of Medicine, The University of Sydney, 2Biomarkers Laboratory, NHMRC Clinical Trials Centre, Faculty of Medicine, The University of Sydney
Circulating microRNAs have recently emerged as promising and novel biomarkers for various cancers and other diseases. The goal of this article is to discuss three different probe-based real-time PCR platforms and methods that are available to quantify and determine the abundance of circulating microRNAs.
1Department of Biology, San Diego State University, 2DOE Joint Genome Institute, 3Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology, University of Colorado, 4Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine, University of Colorado
Using the cystic fibrosis airway as an example, the manuscript presents a comprehensive workflow comprising a combination of metagenomic and metatranscriptomic approaches to characterize the microbial and viral communities in animal-associated samples.
Tissue microarrays allows for an efficient method to gain concurrent information from a multitude of tissues. Representative parts of tissues are assembled into a single paraffin block. Sections from the block are used for immunohistochemistry and analysis of protein expression patterns. Digital scanning generates corresponding images for distribution of data.
1Multi Organ Transplant Program, Department of Surgery, Toronto General Hospital
Experimental animal research plays a pivotal role in the development of clinical transplantation practice. The porcine orthotopic liver transplantation model (OLTx) closely resembles human conditions and is frequently used in clinically oriented research. The following protocol contains all information for a reliable porcine OLTx model using an active porto-caval-jugular shunt.…
Published May 7, 2015. Keywords: Medicine, Orthotopic Liver Transplantation, Hepatic, Porcine Model, Pig, Experimental, Transplantation, Graft Preservation, Ischemia Reperfusion Injury, Transplant Immunology, Bile Duct Reconstruction, Animal Handling
1Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Michigan-Dearborn, 2Department of Surgery/Transplant, University of Illinois at Chicago, 3Department of Bioengineering, University of Illinois at Chicago
Microfluidic oxygen control confers more than just convenience and speed over hypoxic chambers for biological experiments. Especially when implemented via diffusion through a membrane, microfluidic oxygen can provide simultaneous liquid and gas phase modulations at the microscale-level. This technique enables dynamic multi-parametric experiments critical for studying islet pathophysiology.…
Published November 17, 2013. Keywords: Bioengineering, Islets of Langerhans, Microfluidics, Microfluidic Analytical Techniques, Microfluidic Analytical Techniques, oxygen, islet, hypoxia, intermittent hypoxia
1Diabetes Research Institute, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, 2Department of Surgery, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, 3Department of Medicine, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, 4Department of Physiology & Biophysics, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, 5The Rolf Luft Research Center for Diabetes and Endocrinology, Karolinska Institutet
A new approach combining intraocular transplantation and confocal microscopy enables longitudinal, non-invasive real-time imaging with single-cell resolution within grafted tissues in vivo. We demonstrate how to transplant pancreatic islets into the anterior chamber of the mouse eye.
Published March 10, 2013. Keywords: Medicine, Molecular Biology, Biomedical Engineering, Immunology, Ophthalmology, Surgery, Calcium Metabolism Disorders, Glucose Metabolism Disorders, Diabetes Mellitus, Hyperglycemia, Hyperinsulinism, Hypoglycemia, Transplantation, pancreatic islets, islet, intraocular, anterior chamber, eye, cornea, living window, in vivo imaging, immune responses, cannula, imaging, animal model
1Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine
Due to the drastic and negative connection between obesity and other comorbidities, research on the role adipose plays in disease and overall health is warranted. We present a protocol for the isolation and excision of adipose depots allowing for the study of adipose using in situ and in vitro methods.
Published December 4, 2014. Keywords: Medicine, adipose, surgical, excision, subcutaneous adipose tissue (SQ), perivascular adipose tissue (PVAT), visceral adipose tissue (VAT), brown adipose tissue (BAT), white adipose tissue (WAT)
Achieving high quality and appropriate quantity of human islets is one of the prominent prerequisites for successful islet transplantation. In this video, we describe step by step the procedures for human pancreatic islet isolation (part II: purification and culture of human islets) using a modified automated method.
Corneal Confocal microscopy is a non-invasive clinical technique which may be used to quantify C fibre damage to diagnose and stratify patients with increasing neuropathic severity.
1Institute of Pathology, University of Bern
The protocol aims at optimizing the construction and quality of tissue microarrays for biomarker research. It includes aspects of planning and design, digital pathology, virtual slide annotation, and automated tissue arraying.
In this protocol we demonstrate how to construct custom chambers that permit the application of a direct current electric field to enable time-lapse imaging of adult brain derived neural precursor cell translocation during galvanotaxis.
Published October 13, 2012. Keywords: Neuroscience, Biomedical Engineering, Cellular Biology, Physiology, Molecular Biology, neural precursor cells, galvanotaxis, cell migration, time-lapse imaging, electric fields
A method for photo-encapsulation of cells in a crosslinked PEG hydrogel is described. Hypoxic signaling within encapsulated murine insulinoma (MIN6) aggregates is tracked using a fluorescent marker system. This system allows serial examination of cells within a hydrogel scaffold and correlation of hypoxic signaling with changes in cell phenotype.