Magnetic Flow Sorter for Pancreatic Islet Isolation

Period of Performance: 07/13/2009 - 08/28/2010


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Techshot, Inc.
7200 Highway 150 Array
Greenville, IN 47124
Principal Investigator


Project Summary/Abstract: SHOT, Inc., in collaboration with the University of Minnesota (UofM), Indiana University School of Medicine (IUSoM) and IKOtech LLC, proposes research leading to a magnetic separation technology that provides an improvement in potency and yield of pancreatic islets for transplantation. Islet transplantation is a method of treatment that has successfully reversed insulin dependence in Type 1 diabetics in clinical trials. However, one of the most significant issues with bringing pancreatic islet transplantation to the greater public is the difficulty of isolating a critical mass of healthy, viable islets from a single donor pancreas to achieve a successful clinical transplant. Current isolation and purification techniques lose 30-50% of the original islet mass and result in cellular apoptosis and/or loss of viability. This loss of viable islets almost always results in the need to utilize two pancreases for a single transplant (the "Edmonton Protocol"). The proposed innovation is a revolutionary device that is capable of magnetically isolating pancreatic islets with the goal of successful single-organ islet transplantations. The ultimate goal of this research is to increase the quality of healthy, viable, isolated, and purified islets recovered during the isolation process yielding purified islets ideally suited for transplantation into Type I diabetic patients. This new purification system is based on Quadrupole Magnetic flow Sorting (QMS) technology, which has been licensed by IKOtech from The Ohio State University and Cleveland Clinic Foundation. Available QMS hardware is capable of separating cell-sized particles (6-40 m diameter);however, processing the larger islets (150-350 m) requires significant modifications to the QMS hardware. During Phase I research SHOT successfully developed the key technologies required for the processing of intact islets by QMS. The new QMS will solve some of the well- known problems associated with human and xenogeneic islet preparations. For this proposed Phase II project, SHOT will (1) complete the design and manufacture of a QMS system capable of isolating pancreatic islets, (2) in conjunction with external colleagues, research and identify available magnetic reagents with a particle size and magnetic susceptibility that is optimized for isolating islets in three porcine isolation trials and that meets appropriate biocompatibility (i.e. cytotoxicity and immunogenicity) requirements, and (3) verify the performance of the technology by testing the QMS system and reagents together in three standardized porcine pancreatic islet isolations in collaboration with the islet isolation team at UofM. Islet isolation quality will be assessed via islet count, Oxygen Consumption Rate (OCR) and OCR per mg of DNA (OCR/DNA) measurements, proteomic and genomic molecular profiling, and diabetic nude mouse bioassays. The Phase II effort is designed to prove the reasonable safety and efficacy of the QMS technology for isolating pancreatic islets and will result in preclinical data in support of a Phase II Competing Continuation grant for required testing, eventually leading to an Investigational Device Exemption (IDE) approving QMS for clinical trials. Project Narrative: The project Magnetic Flow Sorter for Pancreatic Islet Isolations is relevant to public health as an enabling technology for pancreatic islet transplantation, which is a promising and minimally invasive cure for Type 1 Diabetes currently undergoing clinical trials. Type 1 Diabetes currently afflicts an estimated 800,000+ nationally with 60,000 or more cases diagnosed each year. Severe organ procurement limitations currently restrict the number of patients that can be treated via islet transplantation (which is compounded by the need for more than one organ per transplant), so success with the proposed technology will double the number of patients that can be cured with islets transplanted from cadaver donor tissue and will potentially facilitate unlimited treatment with the advent of porcine xenotransplantation as a further enabling technology.