Characterization of collagenase blend enzymes for human islet transplantation

Barbara Antonioli, Isabella Fermo, Silvia Cainarca, Simona Marzorati, Rita Nano, Michela Baldissera, Angela Bachi, Rita Paroni, Camillo Ricordi, Federico Bertuzzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND. Efficient islet isolation represents a necessary requirement for successful islet transplantation as a treatment for type 1 diabetes. The choice of collagenase for pancreas digestion is critical for the isolation outcome, and Liberase™ is the most widely used enzyme, although large intra-batched variability in activity and efficiency has been observed. METHODS. The aim of this study was to characterize Liberase™ components and their relative role in pancreas digestion. Liberase batches were characterized by microelectrophoresis. RESULTS. By means of microelectrophoresis, we identified three main proteins each with different prevalences between batches. Two proteins were found to correspond to class I (CI) and one to class II (CII) collagenase. In a series of 163 islet isolations, we observed that the CII correlated with islet yield (P50 percentile, 15 of 36 preparations were transplanted, with 27 of 127 transplanted in the other cases (P=0.013). CONCLUSION. These results represent an important step toward the characterization of enzymes, with the final aim of identifying key components for a standardized product.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1568-1575
Number of pages8
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2007


  • Collagenase
  • Islet isolation
  • Islet transplantation
  • Proteases
  • Purification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transplantation
  • Immunology


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