Effects of energy dissipation rate on islets of langerhans: Implications for isolation and transplantation

Rustin M. Shenkman, Ruben Godoy-Silva, Klearchos K. Papas, Jeffrey J. Chalmers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Acute physical stresses can occur in the procurement and isolation process and potentially can contribute to islet death or malfunction upon transplantation. A contractional flow device, previously used to subject suspended cells to well-defined hydrodynamic forces, has been modified and used to assess the vulnerability of porcine islets of Langerhans to hydrodynamic forces. The flow profiles and velocity gradients in this modified device were modeled using commercial CFD software and characterized, as in previous studies, with the scalar parameter, energy dissipation rate (EDR). Porcine islets were stressed in a single pass at various stress levels (i.e., values of EDR). Membrane integrity, oxygen uptake rate, caspase 3/7 activity, and insulin release were not affected by the levels of fluid stress tested up to an EDR of 2 × 103 W/m3. Visual observation of the stressed islets suggested that cells at the islet exterior were peeled away at EDR greater than 10,000 W/m3, however, this observation could not be confirmed using image analysis software, which determined the ratio of surface perimeter to total area. The result of this study suggests an upper limit in fluid stress to which islets can be subjected. Such upper limits assist in the design and operation of future islet processing equipment and processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)413-423
Number of pages11
JournalBiotechnology and Bioengineering
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2009


  • Computational fluid dynamics
  • Energy dissipation rate
  • Islets of langerhans
  • Shear stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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