Isolation of Islets of Langerhans for Transplantation in Type-1 Diabetic Patients.
Here a film made of my ‘powerpoint’ presentation Feb 22, 2000 – on behalf of our Surgical Department – at the Opening Symposium of the Interdivisional GMP (‘Good Manufacturing Practice’) facility of the Leiden University Medical Centre – the LUMC in Leiden, Holland.
I first started – with a background in biochemistry and philosophy – some 20 years earlier (from 1981) research at the Department of Surgery of the Leiden University Hospital (AZL) in the field of transplantation of the pancreas organ to cure diabetes.
Succesful Experiment Islet Transplantation
From 1986 my focus shifted to innovative procedures for the isolation out of the pancreas organ, of the ca 1 million islets of Langerhans – the insulin producing cell clumps with a size between ca 0.1 to 1 mm , that is 0.004 to 0,04 inch.
In 1989 we performed the first succesful autologous transplantations in Holland – for the first time world-wide with pure islets – in a pre-clinical large animal diabetes model with long term transplant functioning with near-normal blood sugar regulation.
Around that time (1990) first preliminary isolations from human donor pancreases were done too.
Exploring human islet work
Subsequently – after some years of exploring options for animal to human islet transplantation , using pig pancreas islets – so-called xenotransplantation – I was asked in 1997 to explore the requirements for operationalization of clinical islet transplantation in the LUMC. December 1997 our Surgical Department decided to go for it.
Establishing the human islet isolation laboratory in Leiden.
In 1998 after a month working in dr Camillo Ricordi’s Diabetes Research Institute in Miami, I started a large series of human islet isolation procedures in Leiden, and from september 1998 documenting the detailed GMP (‘Good Manufacturing Practice’) standard operating procedures, as well as ‘building’ our clinical islet isolation clean room with help from the Miami team in close cooperation with dr. Amon Wafelman (department of Clinical Pharmacy & Toxicology) managing the building of our brand new Interdivisional GMP-facility LUMC (IGFL) of six clean rooms and two chemical product laboratories – that was opened officially Feb 22, 2000 with the symposium and a tour and film in the GMP facility.
One year later the GMP islet facility was fully operational and summer 2001 we got a cautious green light (GMP license) for clinical transplantation of any high quality – approved – islet preparations.
Around the same time islet transplantation suddenly became very promising with ‘The Edmonton protocol’. However with the fast increase of logistic and financial demands, and reorganization between LUMC divisions it took till 2007 to finally start first transplants by an expanded islet team in the LUMC clinical islet center in Leiden.
Worldwide since 2000 several hundred people have received islet transplants that generally do not result in long term insulin independence , but do help sugar regulation in the transplant recipients.
Links to some publications, news paper reports etc will follow later.
Presentation ‘Isolation of Islets of Langerhans for Transplantation in Type-1 Diabetic Patients’ by Michel van der Burg, Feb 22, 2000 – Opening Symposium of the Interdivisional GMP facility of the Leiden University Medical Centre, Leiden, Netherlands. Film : 20191213 Michel van der Burg | miracles.media