Nanoparticle Contrasting and MRI Imaging

Dr. Gina Rayat

Gina RayatIslet transplantation can offer individuals with Type 1 diabetes a much better control of their blood glucose and possible freedom from exogenous insulin injections.  Islets derived from human (cadaver) donors have been used in islet replacement therapy for over 10 years, while islets from non-human (pig) donors is currently being investigated as an alternative therapy.  We are working towards clinical application of pig islets for human transplants by developing a sensitive and non-invasive in vivo method to monitor the survival of pig islets after transplantation. The method involves labelling of pig islets with superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles prior to transplantation, and after transplantation the recipients can be scanned using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to monitor the survival of the islets.  This project will help xeno-islet transplantation move forward as we continue our efforts in making this therapy widely available for patients - especially children - with Type 1 diabetes.