CET and skills guides

Study and gain CET points through OT’s online CET exams, and access archived CET, CPD articles and skills guides in our education library

Find out more

Science and vision

News and features about the latest scientific developments and advances in optometry, ophthalmology and eye medicine

Find out more

Professional support

News and features about the latest developments relating to professional support from across optics. This includes updates from optical organisations such as the AOP and the GOC

Find out more


Explore the latest UK and global jobs in the optical sector for optometrists, dispensing opticians and more

Find out more

The eyes have it: unlocking transplant tolerance in diabetes patients

Early experiments suggest that insulin-producing cells transplanted in the eye can function long-term without immune suppression

Finger prick blood test

New research suggests using the eye as a transplant site may be key to preventing the rejection of insulin-producing donor cells in diabetes patients.

The study, which was published in Diabetologia, found that islets transplanted in the eye could survive and function without long-term immune suppression.

Researchers hope that the discovery could lead to tolerance in peripheral transplant sites.

Islet transplantation is used to restore natural insulin production in people with type 1 diabetes.

However, at present diabetes patients require long-term immunosuppression to prevent the rejection of donor cells, which can result in serious side effects.

In a trial where diabetes patients received islet transplantation either in the kidney or the eye, both groups displayed islet survival for more than 300 days without immune suppression.

A second islet transplant into the kidney across all patients resulted in a 70% islet survival rate for more than 400 days in those who initially received a transplant in the eye, compared to a 30% survival rate in patients whose first transplant was in the kidney.

Dr Per-Olof Berggren, from the Diabetes Research Institute at the University of Miami School of Medicine, said: “This approach may help to positively impact the success of islet transplantation for future treatment of diabetes.”