Overcoming the Limitations of Traditional Collagenase Products

Traditional collagenase products (i.e., crude or enriched collagenase) have been used for over 50 years to isolate cells from tissue. Little has changed in the selection and use of these products since the original introduction of crude collagenase in the early 1960’s for use in cell isolation procedures. Many laboratories pre-qualify lots prior to purchase of a larger amount of product. This procedure is repeated once the supply of the specific product lot is depleted. In the mid-1990’s, the need for development of defined collagenase products was driven by clinical research scientists who needed to increase human islet yields for use in islet transplantation into adult patients with type 1 diabetes. These and subsequent studies showed that Clostridium histolyticum collagenase and neutral protease were the key enzymes responsible for degrading the extracellular matrix, leading to the release of cells from tissue. The knowledge gained from development of purified collagenase-protease enzyme mixtures has not been translated into improvements in low cost collagenase products. This white paper focuses on defining characteristics of an ideal, low cost collagenase product that overcomes the limitations of traditional collagenase products, and shows how VitaCyte’s DE Collagenase products are aligned with these ideal characteristics.