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A Closed System for Islet Isolation and Purification Using the COBE2991 Cell Processor May Reduce the Need of Clean Room Facilities

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During the isolation of human islets of Langerhans the digest has repeated direct contact with the ambient atmosphere. In order to fulfill GMP requirements in clinical applications, the entire cell preparation must be performed in clean room facilities. We hypothesized that the use of a closed system, which avoids the direct exposure of tissue to the atmosphere, would significantly ease the preparation procedure. To avoid the direct atmosphere exposure we tested a modification of the isolation and purification process by performing all islet preparation steps in a closed system. In this study we compared the isolation outcome of the traditional open preparation technique with the new closed system. Pancreata from 6-month-old hybrid pigs were procured in the local slaughterhouse. After digestion/filtration the digest was cooled, collected, and concentrated in centrifugation containers and purified thereafter in the COBE2991 by top loading (control). In the control group 502 ± 253 IEQ per gram pancreas were purified. The total preparation time amounted to 12 h. In the closed system the digest was cooled and directly pumped into the COBE2991 for centrifugation followed by supernatant expelling. Bag filling, centrifugation, and expelling were repeated several times. Islets in pellet form were than purified by adding a gradient (bottom loading). Using this closed system 1098 ± 489 IEQ per gram pancreas were purified with a total cell viability of 67 ± 10% and a -cell viability of 41 ± 13%. The total preparation time reduced to 6 h. After 24 h of cell culture the viability of -cells was still 56 ± 10% and was only reduced after the addition of proapoptotic IL-1 and TNF-α to 40 ± 4%, indicating that freshly isolated islets are not apoptotic. In conclusion, the closed system preparation is much faster, more effective, and less expensive than the traditional islet preparation. The closed system may be applicable for human islets preparations to restrict the need of clean room facilities for islet preparations to a minimum and may open the way for islet preparations without clean room demand.

Keywords: COBE2991; GMP; Islet transplantation; Porcine islets

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of General, Visceral, and Transplantation Surgery, University of Tübingen, 72076 Tübingen, Germany 2: Department of Transfusion Medicine, University of Tübingen, 72076 Tübingen, Germany

Publication date: June 1, 2007

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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.

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