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The Use of Pancreas Biopsy Scoring Provides Reliable Porcine Islet Yields While Encapsulation Permits the Determination of Microbiological Safety

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For clinical xenogenic islet transplantation to be successful, several requirements must be met. Among them is a sizeable and reliable source of fully functional and microbiologically safe islets. The inherent variability among porcine pancreases, with respect to islet yield, prompted us to develop a Biopsy Score technique to determine the suitability of each pancreas for islet isolation processing. The Biopsy Score consists of an assessment of five variables: warm ischemia time, pancreas color, fat content, islet size, and islet demarcation, each of which is assigned a value of −1 or +1, depending on whether or not the established criteria is met. For determination of islet size and demarcation, fresh biopsies of porcine pancreases are stained with dithizone (DTZ) solution and examined under a dissecting microscope. Based on the scoring of such biopsies in pancreases from 26–56-month-old sows, we report here that the presence of large (>100 m diameter), well-demarcated islets in the pancreas biopsy is a reliable predictor of isolation success. Encapsulation of the isolated porcine islets within the inner layer of a 1.5% agarose and an outer layer of 5.0% agarose macrobead, containing 500 equivalent islet number (EIN), provides for extended in vitro functional viability (>6 months of insulin production in response to glucose), as well as for comprehensive microbiological testing and at least partial isolation of the xenogeneic islets from the host immune system. All microbiological testing to date has been negative, except for the presence of porcine endogenous retrovirus (PERV). Taken together, we believe that the Biopsy Score enhancement of our islet isolation technique and our agarose–agarose macroencapsulation methodology bring us significantly closer to realizing clinical porcine islet xenotransplantation for the treatment of insulin-dependent diabetic patients.
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Keywords: Encapsulation; Islet culture; Islet isolation; Microbiological safety; Porcine islets; Xenotransplantation

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: The Rogosin Institute-Xenia Division, Xenia, OH 45385, USA 2: The Rogosin Institute, New York, NY 10021, USA, New York Presbyterian Hospital and Weill Medical College of Cornell University, New York, NY 10021, USA 3: Bob Evans Farms, Inc., Columbus, OH 43207, USA 4: The Rogosin Institute-Xenia Division, Xenia, OH 45385, USA, The Rogosin Institute, New York, NY 10021, USA, New York Presbyterian Hospital and Weill Medical College of Cornell University, New York, NY 10021, USA

Publication date: 2005-07-01

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  • Cell Transplantation publishes original, peer-reviewed research and review articles on the subject of cell transplantation and its application to human diseases. To ensure high-quality contributions from all areas of transplantation, separate section editors and editorial boards have been established. Articles deal with a wide range of topics including physiological, medical, preclinical, tissue engineering, and device-oriented aspects of transplantation of nervous system, endocrine, growth factor-secreting, bone marrow, epithelial, endothelial, and genetically engineered cells, among others. Basic clinical studies and immunological research papers are also featured. To provide complete coverage of this revolutionary field, Cell Transplantation will report on relevant technological advances, and ethical and regulatory considerations of cell transplants. Cell Transplantation is now an Open Access journal starting with volume 18 in 2009, and therefore there will be an inexpensive publication charge, which is dependent on the number of pages, in addition to the charge for color figures. This will allow work to be disseminated to a wider audience and also entitle the corresponding author to a free PDF, as well as prepublication of an unedited version of the manuscript.

    Cell Transplantation is now being published by SAGE. Please visit their website for the most recent issues.

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