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For more than a decade Liberase HI was commonly used as the standard enzyme blend for clinical human islet isolation until enforced replacement by collagenase NB1 (NB1). This change resulted initially in a reduction in islet isolation outcome and transplant activities worldwide. This retrospective study was initiated to compare the efficiency of NB1 premium grade with Liberase in 197 human islet isolations. All pancreata were processed between January 2006 and June 2008 utilizing the same procedures for isolation and quality assessment except the administration of preselected lots of either Liberase (n = 101) or NB1 (n = 96). Utilizing Liberase, significantly more digested tissue and purified islet yield was produced compared to NB1. In contrast, the use of NB1 was associated with significantly higher purity and glucose stimulation index during dynamic perifusion. The expression of proinflammatory markers was almost identical except tissue factor expression, which was higher after utilization of Liberase. No difference was found in the percentage of pancreata fulfilling the criteria for clinical islet transplantation. The results suggest that Liberase is more efficient for pancreas dissociation than collagenase NB1 but seems to be more harmful to exocrine cells and islet tissue.

Original publication




Journal article


Cell Transplant

Publication Date





3 - 8


Adolescent, Adult, Aged, Cell Culture Techniques, Cell Separation, Cell Survival, Cells, Cultured, Collagenases, Female, Graft Survival, Humans, Islets of Langerhans, Islets of Langerhans Transplantation, Male, Middle Aged, Retrospective Studies, Thermolysin, Tissue and Organ Harvesting, Young Adult