Video: The Birth of Beta Cells

Understanding how beta cells first form in the developing embryo is providing scientists with the know-how to make these cells in the lab. 

The hope is that lab-grown beta cells could, in the future, be used as a therapy for Diabetes. This animation creates a visual story of how we think the pancreas, which is the home of beta cells, forms. From small buds the pancreas develops into the intricate network of branches we see in an adult. Creative scientific experiments are, piece by piece, revealing the complex mechanisms that underpin this dynamic development.

With gratitude to our funders:


This project, HumEn - Upscaling human insulin-producing beta cell production by efficient differentiation and expansion of endoderm progenitors - has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement No 602587


The consortium Revive is a selected project of the ANR "Laboratoire d'Excellence" programme (2011 - 2019) with research activity on stem cells in regenerative biology and medicine


Animation: DEMCON Nymus3d 

Scientific script and editor: Professor Anne Grapin-Botton 

Co-editors: Professor Henrik Semb and Professor Raphael Scharfmann

Voice: Dr Robert Illingworth

 Voice edit and sound: Cameron Duguid

Producer: Dr Cathy Southworth