Pancreas oxygenation is limited during preservation with the two-layer method

K. K. Papas, B. J. Hering, L. Gunther, M. J. Rappel, C. K. Colton, E. S. Avgoustiniatos

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66 Scopus citations


Background. The two-layer method (TLM) for pancreas preservation reportedly improves islet yield and transplantation outcome relative to previous methods. Increased ATP concentrations support the hypothesis that these improvements are related to better oxygenation from the perfluorocarbon solution. However, there are limited direct measurements of oxygen partial pressure, (pO2) in pancreata preserved with the TLM. Theory predicts that only a small fraction of a human pancreas can be oxygenated externally. In this report we examine pancreas oxygenation with the TLM using theory and direct pO2 measurements. Methods. pO2 profiles in cylindrical pancreata were calculated at various temperatures with a diffusion-reaction model. The pO 2 was measured using fiber optic sensors in the core of porcine pancreatic tissue preserved with the TLM in media saturated with 100% oxygen. Results. The model predicts that at 8°C, even in the absence of an external pO2 gradient, oxygen penetration depth is about 1 mm and insensitive to pancreas diameter, while the oxygenated volume fraction is about 15% for a 2.5-cm-diameter pancreas. Experimental measurements verified that pO2 is virtually zero in the core of a 1-cm-thick pancreatic piece preserved with the TLM. Penetration of solution around the sensor may be responsible for the observed lag and for the previously reported nonzero pO2 measurements. Reoxygenation of heat-treated tissue took several hours. Conclusions. The TLM can oxygenate only a small volume fraction of a human pancreas. Pancreas oxygenation through the native vasculature should be explored to further improve yield of viable islets.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3501-3504
Number of pages4
JournalTransplantation proceedings
Issue number8
StatePublished - Oct 2005

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by a grant from the National Center for Research Resources, National Institutes of Health (U42 RR016598-01), the lacocca Foundation, and the Carol Olson Memorial Diabetes Research Fund.


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