The success of cell isolation requires excess collagen degradation activity and selection of an appropriate neutral protease used at an optimal dose. This statement reflects the two assumptions of enzymatic tissue dissociation:
- Enriched or purified collagenase (with minimal contaminants) has a restricted specificity to degrade only native collagen or gelatin which are extracellular matrix proteins. Excess activity will not impact the degradation of collagen nor damage cells.
- Neutral protease is required to degrade the extracellular matrix proteins. Proteases can also damage proteins on the cell membrane. Therefore, choice of the appropriate protease used at the right dose is critical to success.