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Contrast Media & Molecular Imaging
Volume 2017, Article ID 5418495, 13 pages
Research Article

The Optimal Timing for Pancreatic Islet Transplantation into Subcutaneous Scaffolds Assessed by Multimodal Imaging

1MR Unit, Department of Radiodiagnostic and Interventional Radiology, Institute for Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Prague, Czech Republic
2Institute of Biophysics and Informatics, First Faculty of Medicine, Charles University in Prague, Prague, Czech Republic
3Centre of Experimental Medicine, Institute for Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Prague, Czech Republic
4Department of Clinical and Transplant Pathology, Institute for Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Prague, Czech Republic
5Department of Pathology, Third Faculty of Medicine, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic
6Diabetes Centre, Institute for Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Prague, Czech Republic

Correspondence should be addressed to Daniel Jirák; zc.meki@ijad

Received 15 September 2017; Revised 16 November 2017; Accepted 22 November 2017; Published 26 December 2017

Academic Editor: Anne Roivainen

Copyright © 2017 Andrea Gálisová et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Subcutaneously implanted polymeric scaffolds represent an alternative transplantation site for pancreatic islets (PIs) with the option of vascularisation enhancement by mesenchymal stem cells (MSC). Nevertheless, a proper timing of the transplantation steps is crucial. In this study, scaffolds supplemented with plastic rods were implanted into diabetic rats and two timing schemes for subsequent transplantation of bioluminescent PIs (4 or 7 days after rod removal) were examined by multimodal imaging. The cavities were left to heal spontaneously or with 10 million injected MSCs. Morphological and vascularisation changes were examined by MRI, while the localisation and viability of transplanted islets were monitored by bioluminescence imaging. The results show that PIs transplanted 4 days after rod removal showed the higher optical signal and vascularisation compared to transplantation after 7 days. MSCs slightly improved vascularisation of the graft but hindered therapeutic efficiency of PIs. Long-term glycaemia normalisation (4 months) was attained in 80% of animals. In summary, multimodal imaging confirmed the long-term survival and function of transplanted PIs in the devices. The best outcome was reached with PIs transplanted on day 4 after rod removal and therefore the suggested protocol holds a potential for further applications.