Cell and Tissue Culture: Process and Uses
Cell culture is one of the major tools used in cellular and molecular biology, providing excellent model systems for studying the normal physiology and biochemistry of cells the effects of drugs and toxic compounds on the cells. It is also used in drug screening and development, and large-scale manufacturing of biological compounds (e.g., vaccines, therapeutic proteins). The major advantage of using cell culture for any of these applications is the consistency and reproducibility of results that can be obtained from using a batch of clonal cells.
Tissue culture is used in a variety of applications, including:
- Research: Cell culture is used to study the growth and development of cells and tissues, as well as to study the effects of drugs and other treatments on cells.
- Biotechnology: Cell culture is used to produce vaccines, hormones, therapeutics, and other biological products.
- Agriculture: Cell culture is used to produce disease-resistant plants, as well as to increase plant production.
- Regenerative medicine: Tissue culture is used to grow replacement tissues and organs for transplantation.
The basic steps involved in tissue culture are:
- Preparation of the sterile culture medium: The culture medium is a liquid or gel that contains nutrients,, serum, antibiotics and other biologics that cells need to grow.
- Sterilize culture vessels: The culture vessels, such as flasks, plates, and tubes, must be sterile to prevent contamination of the culture. Sterile flasks, plates, and other plasticware are purchased from scientific suppliers.
- Preparation of the cells: The cell lines to be cultured are either purchase from repositories such as ATCC or developed/modified by Biotech/Pharma companies.
- Transfer of the cells to the culture vessels: The culture media is placed into the flask or plate then the cells are transferred into the culture vessels.
- Incubation of the culture: The culture flask is then placed into a incubator at a specific temperature and humidity.
- Monitoring the culture: The culture must be monitored daily to ensure that the cells are growing properly and there is no sign of contamination.
Cell culture is a complex and challenging technique, but it is a powerful tool that has a wide range of applications.
Here are some of the advantages of Cell culture:
- It allows cells to be grown in a controlled environment, which can be used to study the growth and development of cells and tissues.
- It can be used to produce large quantities of cells, which can be used for research or for commercial applications.
- It can be used to produce GMO plants, which can be used to improve crop yields and to reduce the risk of plant diseases.
- It can be used to propagate plants quickly and easily, which can be used to conserve rare or endangered plant species.
- It can be used to grow replacement tissues and organs for transplantation, which can be used to treat a variety of medical conditions.
Here are some of the challenges of tissue culture:
- It can be a technically challenging technique.
- The culture medium must be carefully prepared to ensure that the cells have the nutrients they need to grow.
- The culture vessels must be sterile to prevent contamination of the culture.
- The culture must be monitored regularly to ensure that the cells are growing properly.
- The cells can be susceptible to contamination by bacteria, viruses, and fungi.
Despite the challenges, tissue culture is a powerful tool that has a wide range of applications. It is a valuable tool for research, biotechnology, agriculture, and regenerative medicine.