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Advances in Islet Transplantation as a Treatment for Diabetes

October 17, 2018 @ 6:00 PM - 8:30 PM

Advances in Islet Transplantation as a Treatment for Diabetes;

Diabetes is the 4th leading cause of death in the United States. At present there is no cure for diabetes and the principal treatment is the delivery of artificial insulin guided by careful monitoring of blood glucose levels using blood-testing monitors. Despite best efforts at maintaining good blood glucose control, the health of many diabetics deteriorate in terms of advances in the secondary complications of diabetes including retinopathy, neuropathy and nephrology.

            Transplantation of functional derived islet tissue, isolated from cadaveric organ donors, by the “Edmonton Protocol” restores euglycemia by replacing islet tissue lost to autoimmune destruction, at the expense of lifelong pharmaceutical immune suppression. These drugs have known side effects, including elevated risk of infections, lymphoma and other cancers, making the Edmonton protocol appropriate only for those diabetics with advanced life-threatening secondary complications.

Encapsulation of islets by biomaterials including alginate, derived from seaweed is viewed as the best approach to extending the Edmonton protocol to more type 1 diabetics since it would not require lifelong pharmaceutical immune suppression.  The lecture will discuss current approaches in biomaterial research for protecting pancreatic islets.

            The other significant issue facing islet transplantation is the source of insulin secreting cells. Advances in stem cell research have progressed so that there are recently developed protocols to convert stem cells into insulin producing cells. These stem cell derived islets could represent a significant source of cells for transplantation, however there are risks with stem cells including consistency in cell expansion protocols and the potential of differentiating into cancer or other type cells. It is key that any stem cells derived product is retrievable and is protected from immune response in an effective and carefully constructed biomaterial device. The second portion of the lecture will discuss current approaches and development of stem cells for transplantation.

            Advances in both biomaterials for implantation and identifying a safe and consistent source of insulin producing cells represent key steps in islet transplantation technologies to advance our goal of finding a cure for diabetes.


Speaker(s): Jonathan Lakey ,


Time: 6:30pm – 7:00pm (Networking and Food)

           7:00pm – 8:00pm (Talk), 8:00-8:30pm Q&A

Contact: Harshad Parmar @ 949-973-1049 or email:

Venue: Thorp Conference Center, Gross Hall – 4th Floor, UC Irvine

Address: 845 Health Sciences Road, Irvine, CA 92697

Notes: The event is FREE and open to All- IEEE members and Non-members;

          Parking may cost $2.00/hr

Bldg: Thorp Conference Center, Gross Hall – 4th Floor,
UC Irvine
845 Health Sciences Road,
Irvine, , California


October 17, 2018
6:00 PM - 8:30 PM