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Oxford Centre for Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism (OCDEM), Churchill Hospital, Oxford OX3 7LE

Heide Brandhorst

Dr.oec.troph., Ph.D.

Senior Postdoctoral Scientist

The success of human islet transplantation strongly depends on the outcome of the enzymatic islet isolation process. My research activity aims at optimisation and standarisation of protease blends to maximise islet release from within the acinar tissue of the human pancreas and to prevent enzymatic destruction of these fragile micro-organs.

As an initial step toward enzyme standardisation we previously provided the prove of principal that successful human islet isolation is possible by utilisation of a recombinant collagenase blend.

Further optimsation was obtained by identifying the ideal ratio between collagenase class I and class II which was an important step to reduce islet-toxic proteolytic activities.

Currently we are working to identify alternative enzymes that can replace neutral protease activities which are characterised by islet-toxicity.