Imaging Success Supports Islet Cell Transplantation

A collaboration between Lawson and Robarts scientists has shown that imaging can support islet transplantation. The practice of transplanting insulin-producing islets may hold the key to curing diabetes; however, its success is currently hindered by low survival rates of the donor islets. A study led by London researchers provides new ways to image transplanted islet cells, enabling the further analysis - and improvement - of the transplantation procedure.

The study - which appears in the November issues of Diabetes - was co-authored by Robarts Scientist Dr. Paula Foster with Dr. Joo Ho Tai of Lawson Health Research Institute. Drs. Tai and Foster, in collaboration with Robarts Scientist Dr. David White, have successfully imaged islets using a clinical 1.5 Tesla MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scanner.

They are the sole Canadian group (among only three groups worldwide), to have imaged islets with MRI in animal models and their study marks the first time that insulin-producing islets have been successfully imaged via a novel labeling method that uses a non-harmful and clinically available agent More......