Collagenase MA
(Cat. # 001-2020)



GMP Grade

Collagenase MA  is an aseptically filled, lyophilized protein mixture containing 60% purified Class I (C1) and 40% purified Class II (C2) collagenase from Clostidium histolyticum.

Intended Use

Collagenase MA is manufactured to provide the optimal collagenase activity for isolating cells from tissue or recovering adherent cells after in vitro culture. The product is also used in the following cell isolation application, when combined with the appropriate neutral protease for your protocol (suggestion follow in parentheses, below):

  • 1100 Wünsch Unit pack size, Cat#001-2020, for isolating porcine islets3,4 (BP Protease)
Cat. # 001-2020 Categories: ,


  • Manufactured for superior lot-to-lot enzyme consistency for improved performance consistency
  • Low contaminating endotoxin levels (<10 EU/mg)
  • Combine with your choice of neutral protease for your established protocol
  • Lot specific Certificate of Analysis provided with complete QC analysis results
  • Lyophilized in a buffer containing at least 0.1 mM Ca2+ calcium to ensure optimal enzyme activity and stability
  • Highly purified collagenases for greater enzyme potency (>2.8 U/mg)
  • Unopened product stable for at least 2 years when stored between -15 and -25 °C

Manufacturing Details

Collagenase MA is purified from culture supernatants of C. histolyticum that contain porcine gelatin and pancreatic enzyme derived from US and Canadian sources. No bovine derived animal products are used in any step of the fermentation or purification process. Collagenase MA is formulated to contain a sufficient amount of collagen degrading activity (CDA) units for the islet isolation application. The purification process ensures that a negligible amount of trypsin-like activity (i.e., contaminating clostripain) is present in the product.

Standard chromatography techniques are used to purify the collagenase. After assessing enzyme potency, the collagenase is aseptically dispensed into depyrogenated vials and lyophilized. When dry, the Collagenase MA vials are sealed under vacuum. A representative sample from the batch is reconstituted and analyzed by a variety of quality control tests. Results are compared to established specifications before release into inventory.


Suggested Assays

VitaCyte relies on several biochemical tools to characterize and ensure the consistency of Collagenase MA. The Pz-peptide substrate (Wünsch Assay) has historically been used to characterize collagenase activity. While this assay has advantages in terms of reproducibility and historical precedence, it also has several limitations. The Wünsch Assay is strongly biased towards C2 and is not sensitive to the different molecular forms of C1.

In addition, this activity assesses the catalytic activity of the enzyme and not its ability to degrade native collagen. Degraded C2 without a collagen binding domain is as active as intact C2, potentially providing misleading information about the quality of the enzyme. The limitations of the Wünsch assay led us to develop a fluorescent microplate CDA using fluorecein isothiocyanate labeled calf skin collagen fibrils as substrate.

The intact molecular form of purified C1 with two collagen binding domains(C1116kDa) has approximately 10-fold higher CDA when compared the CDA found with same amount of purified C1 containing only one collagen binding domain (C1100kDa) or intact C2 (C2114kDa). Collagenase MA is manufactured with both C1116kDa and C1100kDa to provide the optimal collagenase activity for the isolation of islets from NHP. Focus on manufacture of products with consistent collagenase activity enables users to focus on other issues to improve their islet isolation protocols.


  1. Green ML, Nonweiler KK, Breite AG, et al. Midwest Islet Club 3rd Annual Conference 2010 – Indianapolis, IN “Optimizing the Parameters for Porcine Islet Isolation: A Two-Year History”

Product Documentation

Please note: To obtain Certificates of Analysis for our products, please contact VitaCyte. Have your product lot number readily available to help us expedite your request.

Pack Insert

Safety Data Sheet


Certificate of Animal Origin

General Product FAQ

Are your enzymes animal-free?

Thermolysin and BP Protease are entirely animal origin free.

A porcine gelatin peptone is used during the fermentation step of natural collagenase production. While this animal sourced material is required to stimulate collagenase production from the biosynthesis from the organism Clostridium histolyticum during anaerobic fermentation, it represents a very low adventitious agent risk as the media is sterilized at 121°C for 30 minutes prior to inoculation, which has been shown to inactivate many viruses.

The gelatin is removed during the purification process and no animal sourced materials are used in the remainder of the process.

Additional manufacturing details are available in product insert literature for each product.

What are application-specific formulations?

Application-specific formulations are pre-blended mixtures of purified collagenase and protease in optimal ratios for isolation of cells from a particular tissue and/or species.

Currently, our CIzyme™ AS and CIzyme™ RI are our only two application-specific formulations.

What is the best way to inactivate the enzymes when a digestion is complete?

There are two components to inactivation of the digestive enzymes commonly used for tissue dissociation.  To inactivate protease activity, a serum-containing media or buffer is most effective.  Buffers or media containing human serum albumin (HSA) are ineffective in suppressing protease activity, even at very high concentrations of protein (>10%). However, serum-containing buffers do not inhibit collagenase activity.  The most effective method for inactivating collagenase activity is reducing temperature. Collagenases will lose about 80% their maximal activity at 26°C. Thus, introduction of an ice-cold, serum- containing media should virtually eliminate all collagenolytic and proteolytic activity of an enzyme mixture.

General Collagenase FAQ

How do I transition from a crude enzyme to a purified one?

VitaCyte’s technical service team has a significant amount of experience in transitioning from crude enzyme products to the more defined purified ones and is glad to provide you with assistance.  If you can provide us details of the cell of interest; the enzyme product that is currently being used for the isolation; the concentrations (or activities) being targeted; volumes utilized; and, a certificate of analysis for the particular lot you would like to mimic; we can provide some reasonable guidance to which product(s) and what target activities best fit your application.  Our defined enriched (DE) collagenase products are specifically designed to encompass the broad range of activities found in the crude enzyme products and to make the transition to a highly purified product seamless.

Why don’t you offer a formulation for my specific application?

In developing an Application Specific Formulation, we generally rely on individuals considered “expert in the art” to ß-test potential formulations and guide us in the refinement of the final composition. These formulations are usually engineered from existing protocols and crude enzyme targets. Once a formulation has been identified and deemed acceptable by at least a couple independent labs,  it may be included in our product portfolio.  We are always eager to assist you with virtually any request for a custom blend so do not hesitate to contact us to discuss your application.

Collagenase MA FAQ

How should I store my purified collagenase?

This product is stable for at least two years from date of manufacture if stored unopened between -15 to – 25°C.
Internal studies have shown the reconstituted enzyme is stable as a frozen solution between -15 to – 25°C for at least 1 year as long as no other protease enzymes had been added to the solution. Additional studies have shown the reconstituted collagenase was successfully frozen and thawed three times as a concentrated or dilute solution without apparent loss of potency as assessed by the CDA assay. The product is shipped on dry ice to provide the most stable conditions during shipment.

What is the difference between the Collagenase HA and Collagenase MA products?

Collagenase HA and MA differ only in the amount of truncated class 1 collagenase present. Both are 60%:40% blends of highly purified class 1 (C1) and class 2 collagenase (C2), respectively. The Collagenase MA will have a lower CDA specific activity relative to the HA product, because a portion of the C1 protein in the MA product has lost a collagen binding domain whereas HA is comprised of only intact C1. The two products have comparable Wunsch specific activities.

Which neutral proteases are compatible with this product?

Purified neutral proteases, such as our BP Protease and AF Thermolysin products can be used with this product.