The Tom Mandel Islet Transplant Program in Melbourne is part of the Australian Islet Transplant Consortium offering national access to islet transplantation for people with Type 1 diabetes mellitus and recurrent hypoglycaemia with hypoglycaemic unawareness. The consortium has two islet isolation facilities located in Melbourne and Sydney and performs transplants in Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide. In general, we provide access to the procedure for people from Victoria and Tasmania, while Sydney’s Westmead Hospital provides transplants for people in NSW, ACT, Qld and WA, and the Royal Adelaide Hospital, to those in SA and NT. The Consortium provides these services with funds from the Nationally Funded Centre Program that is funded by State Governments.
SVI manages the Susan Alberti Islet Isolation Facility (SAIIF), which was established to facilitate the clinical development of human cell-based therapies.
The SAIIF is housed within an ISO Class 8 certified cleanroom located at the O'Brien Institute Department building near St Vincent's Institute of Medical Research on the St Vincent's Hospital campus. It provides a sterile, fully contained environment suitable for the processing of human cells and tissue. The Isolator is comprised of nine modules that provide a complete barrier from environmental and operator-borne contamination. Three independent incubators, a water-cooled centrifuge and a microscope are integrated into the system to eliminate the need to perform process steps outside the contained environment. The processing chambers provide the flexibility of cell and tissue manipulation under various conditions. In addition to temperature control across the Isolator, the levels of oxygen, nitrogen and carbon dioxide can be adjusted to optimise processing or culturing requirements for different cell types. The Isolator is also equipped with particle monitoring and volatile organic compound sensors, to enable continual monitoring of air cleanliness. The Facility provides a benefit over the conventional cleanroom model of reduced operational costs, processing times and risk to product; while providing a safer and more comfortable environment for operators.