Pancreatic islets, also called islets of Langerhans, are tiny clusters of cells scattered throughout the pancreas. The pancreas is an organ about the size of a hand located behind the lower part of the stomach. Pancreatic islets contain several types of cells, including beta cells, that produce the hormone insulin. The pancreas also makes enzymes that help the body digest and use food.
In Pancreatic islet allo-transplants cells are taken from a donor pancreas and transferred into another person. Once implanted, the new islets begin to make and release insulin. Researchers hope that islet transplantation will help people with type 1 diabetes live without daily injections of insulin. Whereas in Pancreatic islet auto-transplantation, which is performed following total pancreatectomy, the whole pancreas is surgically removed from patients with severe and chronic, or long lasting, pancreatitis that cannot be managed by other treatments.