Background: The quality and stability of enzyme blends used in islet cell processing are critical for successful human islet isolation. A wide variability in enzymatic activity among lots of Liberase HI has been reported. This study examines the interlot and intralot variability of Liberase HI and the over-time deterioration of enzyme quality based on the analysis of islet isolation outcomes.
Methods: The data of 169 human isolations processed for clinical islet transplantation, using five different lots of Liberase HI, were retrospectively analyzed. Inter- and intralot variables in the islet isolation were assessed over a 15-month period.
Results: The analysis revealed significant interlot differences in the digestion time, prepurification islet counts, percent recovery, viability, and glucose stimulation insulin index. Moreover, a significant decrease in the pre- and postpurification islet yield per pancreas weight (IEQ/g) in isolations processed by two different enzyme lots used over a 15-month period was observed, suggesting a progressive deterioration of enzyme quality.
Conclusions: Our data demonstrate a significant lot-to-lot related variability in islet isolation outcomes. In addition, the over-time decline in isolation outcomes processed using a single enzyme lot was observed even when the enzyme blends were used within the expiration dating specified by the manufacturer.