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What is Limiting Your Animal Cell Culture Growth?

Are you revisiting your cell culture lab every day with the hope of seeing good confluent cells? Are you disappointed with your animal cell culture growth? For a cell culture researcher, nothing is more saddening than knowing your cells will not attach or grow in the media. Stunted growth or limited proliferation of cells in culture can delay lab projects and reduce research efficacy. Solutions to enhance this condition are not always simple or straightforward as cell culture is a complex science for many. In most cases, the problem lies with handling techniques, incubation, and media quality. In this article, our lab researchers at KOSHEEKA deliver some pro-tips to enhance your cell culture growth.

Checking the Technique of Cell Culture Handling

The first and foremost troubleshoot should be handling techniques. Incorrect pipetting or shaky hand movements can lead to chances of contamination that might go unnoticed apparently. Some common issues are:

  • Uneven handling: uneven handling or mixing of cell inoculum or PBS can cause bubbles to hinder cell growth and attachment. Moreover, this also leads to clumps without proper single-cell suspensions.
  • Uneven cell inoculum: insufficient or heavy inoculum load can cause uneven growth of cells on the vessel surface leading to uneven media nutrition availability for the cells
  • Spin or centrifugation speed: Irregular or insufficient spin speeds can lead to clumping and reduced growth efficiency of the cells in culture.

The best way to become aware of irregular growth patterns is regular check-ups on the cell culture flasks to detect an abnormal pattern of growth.

Incubation Problems for Cell Culture

If there are temperature variations or vibrations in the incubator, cell culture growth is heavily affected.

  • Temperature variations: if the incubator is repeatedly opened and flasks are searched for during experiments, temperature variations occur and incubation of the cells is hampered. Do not open the incubator unless required.
  • Water-reserve maintenance: evaporation affects cell culture growth rate and pattern. It is always suggested to keep water reservoirs full and humidifying gases with a gas-washing cylinder.
  • Vibration problems: it is important to keep incubators on sturdy surfaces where there are no chances of vibration as vibrations can cause unusual cell culture growth.

Is your Cell Culture Media Perfect?

Cell culture media is an essential component for good cell culture growth. Media problems are not always visible and the media being used can have insufficient reagents and nutrition components, among other issues. One should always ensure the right formulation of the media being used for cell culture and the best way to ensure that is a comparison between the troublesome media and the same media from another manufacturer.

Troubleshoot with Planning and Management

While it can be time-consuming to give good thought to planning up your research, that is the most crucial point. If your techniques and media components are not right, your cell culture growth will suffer but if the whole experiment is not planned well, the loss will be much more. Approach the issue of cell culture growth as you would do for any other assay or experiment to optimize conditions and controls. This can help in troubleshooting the problem with great insight, leading to a comprehensive understanding of what actually went wrong for your cell culture.

Are you looking for more cell culture expert tips? Connect with our research team at KOSHEEKA by mailing us at for more info.

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