Islet isolation for clinical transplantation

Adv Exp Med Biol. 2010;654:683-710. doi: 10.1007/978-90-481-3271-3_30.


Islet transplantation is emerging as a viable treatment option for selected patients with type 1 diabetes. Following the initial report in 2000 from Edmonton of insulin independence in seven out of seven consecutive recipients, there has been a huge expansion in clinical islet transplantation. The challenge we now face is the apparent decline in graft function over time. Isolating high-quality human islets which survive and function for a longer period will no doubt contribute to further improvement in long-term clinical outcome. This chapter reviews the selection of appropriate donors for islet isolation and transplantation, describes each step during islet isolation, and discusses the scope for further improvements.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cryopreservation / methods
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / therapy*
  • Graft Survival
  • Humans
  • Insulin / metabolism
  • Islets of Langerhans / cytology*
  • Islets of Langerhans Transplantation / methods*
  • Male
  • Pancreas / pathology
  • Specimen Handling / methods
  • Time Factors
  • Tissue Donors
  • Tissue and Organ Procurement / methods


  • Insulin