Cell culture

From WikiMD's Wellness Encyclopedia

Cell culture is a fundamental technique in the field of cell biology where cells are grown under controlled conditions. The practice of cell culture has played a significant role in scientific research, particularly in producing biological products and developing genetic engineering techniques.

History[edit | edit source]

The concept of cell culture was first introduced in the early 20th century. The initial experiments were conducted by Ross Granville Harrison and Alexis Carrel, who successfully cultivated animal tissues in vitro. This marked the beginning of cell culture technology.

Types of Cell Culture[edit | edit source]

There are several types of cell culture, including primary cell culture, secondary cell culture, and cell line.

Primary Cell Culture[edit | edit source]

Primary cell culture is the process of disassociating cells from a parental tissue, which is then grown in a suitable medium. These cells maintain the physiological properties of the original tissue.

Secondary Cell Culture[edit | edit source]

Secondary cell culture, also known as cell line or subculture, involves the process of transferring the cells from a primary culture into a new vessel. This allows for the prolongation of the culture beyond the lifespan of the primary cells.

Cell Line[edit | edit source]

A cell line is a permanently established cell culture that proliferates indefinitely given appropriate fresh medium and space.

Techniques[edit | edit source]

Cell culture techniques vary depending on the type of cells being cultured. The most common techniques include monolayer culture, suspension culture, and three-dimensional culture.

Monolayer Culture[edit | edit source]

In monolayer culture, cells are grown in a single layer on a glass or plastic surface.

Suspension Culture[edit | edit source]

Suspension culture involves the growth of cells in a medium, where the cells multiply while suspended in the liquid.

Three-Dimensional Culture[edit | edit source]

Three-dimensional culture, also known as 3D culture, is a technique where cells are grown in a 3D environment. This method is often used to mimic the in vivo conditions.

Applications[edit | edit source]

Cell culture has a wide range of applications in various fields such as virology, oncology, pharmacology, and genetics. It is used for the production of vaccines, therapeutic proteins, and testing drug efficacy and toxicity.

Challenges[edit | edit source]

Despite its numerous applications, cell culture faces several challenges including contamination, genetic drift, and ethical issues.


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Contributors: Prab R. Tumpati, MD