Please contact Tina by filling out the form to the right.
What documentation is required?
A brief project description
Your biosafety approval for working with human tissue
Your human ethics approval (or Institutional Review Board exemption letter) for the proposed research
A completed Request for Islets Form
Your shipping address and FedEx account number
Is a material transfer agreement (MTA) required?
Yes. Once the other documentation is in place, the University of Alberta will coordinate with your tech transfer office to create an MTA.
How much do the islets cost?
Islets are offered on a cost-recovery basis: $0.16 per IEQ for non-diabetic donors and $0.24 per IEQ for donors with diabetes. Our full price list can be found here.
Can I get a discount?
Yes! We also provide the option of signing up for a prepaid subscription of $14,000 for 100,000 IEQ ($0.14 per IEQ).
What information is provided with the islets?
Donor age, sex, body mass index, HbA1c (if available), and any relevant medical history (e.g. diabetes diagnosis or pancreatitis) are provided. Preparation information such as purity, culture time, and photos of dithizone-stained islets are also included.
Can I get additional donor, processing, and islet phenotype information?
Our new web tool, found here, provides much additional information to registered users. In addition to the above info, this includes HLA typing, organ processing parameters (e.g. cold ischemia time), feedback from other users, insulin secretion data, and more. We have also initiated a partnership with the Integrated Islet Distribution Program (IIDP) Human Islet Phenotyping Program (HIPP). As of mid-2019, users will be registered with the HIPP platform to access additional human islet phenotyping data.
How will I know if islets are available?
An email will be sent out with donor and preparation information, along with a request form.
How do you count IEQs?
Dithizone-stained islet samples are counted and categorized by size, using a stereomicroscope with a counting reticle. A conversion factor is then applied to correlate islets of different sizes to IEQ (a standard islet equivalent of 100 um diameter). The full protocol can be found here.
How are the islets shipped?
Islets are shipped with CMRL media in a 50 mL tube at ambient temperature, via FedEx. Recipients in Canada and the United States typically receive the islets the next day, while international recipients typically receive them within 48 hours.
What other tissues and samples are available?
We are able to offer paraffin-embedded sections of pancreatic biopsies and isolated islets from normal and diabetic donors, snap-frozen human islets, and viable cryopreserved islets. We also offer autologous tissues from pancreas donors including spleen, blood, pancreatic lymph nodes, adipose, acinar, and gut. The full price list can be found here.
What kind of quality assurance do you perform on your islet preparations?
Quantification and purity assessment via dithizone staining
Functional assessment via electrophysiology and insulin secretion assays
Contamination assessment via culture of samples and supernatants
Additional deep phenotyping of islets (currently being expanded)
How will I BE BILLED?
Invoices are sent out quarterly, with payment accepted by wire transfer or cheque. For billing inquiries, please contact Tina Dafoe.
How do I report islet preparation quality issues or concerns?
If you suspect that your islet shipment is contaminated, please contact Jocelyn Manning Fox immediately so that IsletCore and other islet recipients can be notified. If your shipment is otherwise unacceptable, you may contact us directly or report the problem through the online Feedback Form. If you are seeking a refund, you will be asked to send a digital photograph of the islet preparation to substantiate your claim.
I have a manuscript in preparation that describes work using samples obtained from adi isletcore. how do i acknowledge the source of these samples?
Congratulations! We would appreciate if you acknowledged the source of the tissue as follows:
“Human islets for research were provided by the Alberta Diabetes Institute IsletCore at the University of Alberta in Edmonton (www.bcell.org/adi-isletcore) with the assistance of the Human Organ Procurement and Exchange (HOPE) program, Trillium Gift of Life Network (TGLN), and other Canadian organ procurement organizations. Islet isolation was approved by the Human Research Ethics Board at the University of Alberta (Pro00013094). All donors' families gave informed consent for the use of pancreatic tissue in research.”
If you'd like to cite the resource, we suggest: Lyon J et al (2016) Research-focused isolation of human islets from donors with and without diabetes at the Alberta Diabetes Institute IsletCore. Endocrinology, 157(2): 560-569.