Tag Archives: organ

Isolation of Islets of Langerhans for Transplantation in Type-1 Diabetic Patients


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.

Background
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 successful autologous transplantations in Holland (in collaboration with the Minneapolis Islet Lab with Jane Field and David Sutherland) – for the first time world-wide with pure islets using our novel procedure of using the organ preservation UW solution (University of Wisconsin / collaboration with dr Robert Carter , Du Pont, UK) during isolation in a pre-clinical large animal diabetes model – with long term transplant functioning with near-normal blood sugar regulation.

First series of human islet isolations , 1989-1990
Next in 1989-1990 we performed a first series of islet isolations from human donor pancreases using our novel techniques of isolation and purification in UW organ preservation solution – in association with a European Concerted Action for the Treatment of Diabetes – the Brussels headed (Daniel Pipeleers) ‘Multicenter program on the treatment of diabetes by islet cell transplantation’.

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, a film, and a tour 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.

Notes :
Links to some publications, news paper reports etc will follow later.

Updates:

Post updated with more details 20191215

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

Afghan refugees in Brussels – Beguinage Project

 May 28th, 2014 report* from the Afghan refugees camp in the Saint John the Baptist church at the Béguinage in Brussels (Belgium) – click 1st image to start slideshow

Beguinage Project

In March 2014 I traveled to Brussels, Belgium to meet a group of Afghans living inside an old Catholic church. At the time, nearly one hundred Afghan refugees had set up camp within the walls of the seventeenth century compound. There were camping tents and make-shift walls within the Baroque interior. Respectfully abiding by the teachings of Islam, the main religious practice of the Afghans living in the Catholic church, there was one side for woman and children and one side for males.

Their shoes were piled up outside of the doors of their tents and warm pots of chai were passed around during mealtime. On a sunny afternoon dozens joined in on a game of cricket, cautious to not start a scene or cause too much noise. All they could do at this point was wait for a potential interview date and hope to receive legal status in a country that they could only half-heartedly call home.

A majority of the males I spoke with were well-educated; most speaking French, Dutch, and English in addition to their native Afghan language of Dari or Pashto. Their skills and experiences as translators, guards, and service men in Afghanistan had threatened their livelihood and ultimately forced them to flee their homeland. The priest of the church, Daniel Alliet, opened the space to the Afghan refugees because he disagreed with Belgium’s asylum policy.

One Afghan gentleman, who asked to remain anonymous, told me about his journey to Brussels: “When you are working with America or other organizations in Afghanistan the Taliban is a big problem. I was with the forces in Kandahar Province for one year. This was a big, big company in Kandahar. After one year the Taliban send some letters to my family saying, ‘Your son is working for the enemy.’ And they said, ‘He will come and he will work with us.’ Then I went to my home. And after the Taliban found out about me, I came to Iran, then I went to Europe, and this country.”

At present, the situation continues to evolve: the church is now used as an Afghan community center instead of a shelter, some have been granted alternative housing accommodations throughout the country, and many refugees were granted the right to stay in the country legally. In Brussels, and around the world, Afghans are facing the harsh realities of displacement while others are struggling to resettle without official resident status, nevertheless, their strength is what binds them and they tirelessly continue to fight for justice.

Text: Kristen Cattell / Photography : Michel van der Burg

Special thanks to Isabelle Marchal and the many friends that welcomed us , and also others whose works were on display at the church and are shown in these pictures.

* Update Sept 6th 2015 – Our full report first appeared May 28th, 2014 (via the now no longer existing web site “Rising Afghans”) and is now fully included here.
Republishing of the short second photo report that appeared also then , will follow soon (the Inside Out project by JR – with original portraits by Chiara Ravano – at Salon Mommen, Brussels.)

Update Nov 15, 2015 – Added video “Béguinage shadows”

Update Nov 19, 2015 – Added info (below) on the  silent solidarity march for Afghan refugees in Brussels Nov 20th 2013 – “Belgians and Afghans demand justice”

Belgians and Afghans demand justice

Belgians and Afghans demand justice – Video report by Michel van der Burg. Belgians and Afghan refugees demand Belgium changes its asylum policy.
Speeches by Amir Mohammad Jafari (12 y, student and Afghan refugee in Belgium) & Simon Gronowski (Belgian lawyer) 20 nov 2013 on the arrival of the silent solidarity march for Afghan refugees in Brussels. « link to full post »