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Primary cells: The good, the bad and the frustrating!

Once upon a time, the scientific world was struggling to culture the notoriously difficult primary cells; and had to spend a lot of resources, in terms of money as well as time. Apart from being difficult to extract, these fragile cultures also had to pass through extremely harsh dissociation steps, and a risk of being contaminated, which was further threatening hours of dedication and hard work in the lab; not to forget the months and the years required in generating animals, from which the tissue may have been extracted. Moreover, issues like cross-contamination, slow growth, limited cell numbers, etc, are still looming over and need possible long term solutions.

However, these issues never came in the middle of the production of primary cells that are now being outsourced. Accordingly, many multinational companies are actively offering primary cells that are ready to go along with matching media and cocktail of growth factors; as per the actual experimental demands. In this regard, experts have further proposed that the reliable source of stem cells is essential for the success of every experiment, and the same can be ensured by working with different vendors, who have been a part of a large network of donors following stringent testing parameters before disbursal of batches. Preparing cells in batches is highly advisable to reduce the pressure of fulfilling the required cell numbers from the working batches. Companies like Kosheeka are working on the same principle and have thus gained full control over a number of primary cells, from human as well as species derived cells; like Human Umbilical Cord Vein Endothelial Cells (hUCVEC), etc.

Experts heading different manufacturing units of the primary cell lines agree to the fact that although, the cost associated for the manufacturing of good quality primary cells is very high; the researchers are more inclined towards demanding more and more primary cells, perhaps due to the great efficiency displayed by these cells to mimic exactly the same in vivo model. This has further been identified as the key to unraveling many mysterious biological as well as metabolic pathways. These primary cells that are thoroughly tested for high purity and potency can work wonders for these assays.  Thus, the exploitation of primary cells for cellular, biological as well as molecular research has increased exponentially; due to the provision of high-quality contextual models that are apt for further studying cellular physiology, signaling pathways responsible for diseased conditions and in the drug development.

Thus, primary cells can readily be opted over other immortalized cells to allow tremendous advancements in identifying different key players responsible for health and diseases.

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