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Transplantation. 1987 Jun;43(6):805-8.

Bovine serum albumin density gradient isolation of rat pancreatic islets.


The use of a bovine serum albumin (BSA) density gradient for isolation of rat pancreatic Islets of Langerhans after collagenase digestion has been compared with the standard Ficoll separation technique. The criteria studied were islet yield (insulin extraction of the islet interfaces and pellet), purity of preparation (amylase content of the islet preparation), insulin release characteristics, and the result of isologous transplantation in diabetic rats. The islet interface of the BSA gradient contained 62.2% of the total insulin, whereas the corresponding interface of the Ficoll gradient contained only 36.6% (P less than 0.001). The amylase content of the Ficoll-separated islet preparation was 6133 U/L, as opposed to 1230 U/L with BSA (P less than 0.001). BSA-isolated islets gave similar insulin release characteristics to non-density-gradient-isolated islets, whereas Ficoll-separated islets showed suboptimal insulin release. Single-donor-single-recipient transplantation was successfully performed with BSA-isolated islets whereas multiple donors were required with Ficoll-separated islets. Thus significantly improved results were found with the bovine serum albumin density gradient separation in all criteria and consequently the use of this gradient represents an advance in islet isolation techniques.

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