About the facility
Due to the generous support of the Diabetes Research & Wellness Foundation (DRWF), a 'state of the art' facility was opened within the Oxford Centre for Diabetes, Endocrinology & Metabolism (OCDEM) at the Churchill Hospital in January 2006.
The University of Oxford continues to be a leader in human pancreatic islet isolation, a field with which it has been involved in for the past 25 years. Indeed, many of the techniques now used routinely worldwide were developed within Oxford.
The DRWF Human Islet Isolation Facility provides human islets for clinical transplantation and for a broad range of research projects. In addition, the isolation team and associated research group will continue to investigate ways of improving the efficiency of islet isolation.
The 230m2 facility includes a store room, preparation room, isolation lab, an islet culture room, as well as an 'on demand' refrigeration room, where islet purification is performed. In addition, the facility houses office space, and changing rooms. The sterility of the rooms is reflective of the activity performed in each area: the preparation room holds a 'Grade C' certificate (which is the same level of sterility as an operating theatre) whereas the isolation room, where organ processing is performed, is classified as a 'Grade B'. The safety cabinets, where aseptic organ processing is performed, have the highest rated grade of 'A'. This model assures compliance with GMP (good manufacturing practices) and ensures that the final cell products are fit for clinical use. The facility is licenced by the Human Tissue Authority (HTA, licence number: 22496) and is currently licenced for distribution, processing and procurement.