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Journal of Diabetes Research
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 7625947, 12 pages
Research Article

Oxygenation of the Intraportally Transplanted Pancreatic Islet

1Department of Surgery, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA
2Institute for Cellular Transplantation, Department of Surgery, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85724, USA

Received 20 February 2016; Accepted 27 April 2016

Academic Editor: Lucy Marzban

Copyright © 2016 Thomas M. Suszynski 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.


Intraportal islet transplantation (IT) is not widely utilized as a treatment for type 1 diabetes. Oxygenation of the intraportally transplanted islet has not been studied extensively. We present a diffusion-reaction model that predicts the presence of an anoxic core and a larger partly functional core within intraportally transplanted islets. Four variables were studied: islet diameter, islet fractional viability, external oxygen partial pressure () (in surrounding portal blood), and presence or absence of a thrombus on the islet surface. Results indicate that an islet with average size and fractional viability exhibits an anoxic volume fraction (AVF) of 14% and a function loss of 72% at a low external . Thrombus formation increased AVF to 30% and function loss to 92%, suggesting that the effect of thrombosis may be substantial. External and islet diameter accounted for the greatest overall impact on AVF and loss of function. At our institutions, large human alloislets (>200 μm diameter) account for ~20% of total islet number but ~70% of total islet volume; since most of the total transplanted islet volume is accounted for by large islets, most of the intraportal islet cells are likely to be anoxic and not fully functional.