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Things that we still don’t know about primary cells

Cell culture is an inseparable part of scientific research and advancements; without primary cells and culture techniques, the scientific progress made so far would have been a dream! Since the time researcher managed to isolate cells from frog nerve fibre in the last century, the science of cell culture has evolved greatly. Today, scientists are heading to develop 3D organs to cope up with the unreasonable demand for organ transplants, and degenerative disorders. Being a biotechnologist, dealing with cell culture practices and challenges might be a routine task for you; but interestingly you must not be knowing some important facts about cell culture. Read on further to add some more knowledge to your kitty.

  • Cell culture contamination sources can be the tools that you are using for culture itself

Some known/unknown contaminants must be lingering around your laminar hood, while you are working on your routine cells. You must be aware of viruses, bacteria, fungi, mycoplasma, endotoxins, etc. however, you should also understand that your surrounding can also be a major source of contamination, like chemicals that you are using, glass beakers, plastic products that you are using while culturing.

  • Reproducible with primary cells is an issue

If you are working on primary cells then you must understand that their behavior is very childish. If you treat them nicely and gently, they might grow unexpectedly. On the contrary, if you be harsh on them, it is possible that they become stubborn and won’t grow at all. With such nerdy cells, reproducibility of results is often a challenge. Thus, it is always advised that cells are to be handled by a person, who is known to them always; you have to be very careful, gentle, and sensitive towards your cells, to let them grow as per your requirement.

  • The cell culture medium and its components play an important role in cell growth

When you are handling primary cells, you need to optimize the medium that is used for their isolation and growth. The constituents of media will decide the fate of your primary cells precisely. If you want to grow epidermal cells isolated from the skin then you cannot add fibroblast growth factor in your media; this will promote unnecessary growth of fibroblasts from the skin tissue. Also while adding animal sera in your culture, you need to be very precise in using the same component that is being used while extracting primary cells; as the sera bought from different locations will have different growth factors that will affect differently.

  • You can increase the lifespan of your cells by supercooling!

Scientists have developed new techniques to supercool cells at -40c, without adding DMSO. The method helps prevent ice formation and also extending the ex vivo life of cells.

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