Better Islet Transplant Procedure Created

WACO, Texas, June 7 (UPI) — U.S. and Japanese scientists say they’ve created a way to isolate pancreatic islet cells from brain dead donors for a more successful transplantation rate.

The researchers from Baylor University and Japan’s Okayama Graduate School of Medicine said their technique more consistently isolates pancreatic islet cells from brain dead donors using ductal injection, a process that immediately cools donor islet cells at the injection site. The more successful islet isolation process resulted in the three type 1 diabetes patients, who received islet cell transplants, becoming insulin independent.


Ductal injection is a procedure that modifies the islet isolation process using a cooling solution on the pancreatic islet cells derived from brain dead donors. The cooling solution, applied at the donor’s pancreatic ductal site, aids the viability of the islet cells.

“Inconsistent islet isolation is one of the important issues in clinical islet transplantation,” said Dr. Shinichi Matsumoto, the research team’s lead author. “Failure of donor islet isolation often results from the loss of the donor pancreas. Our simple modification of the retrieval process appears valuable for assuring greater success in islet transplantation.”

According to the research team, a 50 percent success rate for clinical islet isolation has been standard, but they were able to achieve a better than 80 percent success rate using ductal injection.

The study appears in the journal Cell Transplantation.

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