Our research team is one of the centres of excellence for the isolation and transplantation of human pancreatic islets worldwide.
A recent publication has shown that islet replacement therapy, alone or with kidney graft, represents an effective alternative for type 1 diabetic patients with severe hypoglycemic unawareness. Indeed, 28% of the patients that have been transplanted remain insulin-independent 10 years after islet transplantation.
Numerous publications have also shown the importance of the use of human pancreatic islets for research for a better understanding of the pathology of type 2 diabetes.
Human islet isolation and culture take place in the same research facility, thus avoiding stress for human islet shipment, and guaranteeing the use of isolated fresh islets after an overnight resting step.
The quality of human islet preparation is assured through stringent quality controls of purity and functionality by a specialised team.
For each human islet preparation more than 20 clinical and biological parameters from the donor and quality assessment of human islets are collected in our database, for an accurate stratification and phenotipization of the results obtained with them.
Unlike mouse islets, human islets and their hormonal responses to glucose or drug stimulation are extremely heterogeneous, and can be influenced by several preparation characteristics or donor attributes.
This heterogeneity reflects the same heterogeneity found in the clinic in patients and is, therefore, a very important characteristic that requires a special care in the evaluation and interpretation of results, and it may also increase the number of human islet preparations needed for research studies.