5. Cell Culture

Significance of Cell Culture

Cell culture is an important technique in both cellular and molecular biology given that it provides the best platform for studying the normal physiology and biochemistry of cells. A cell is the basic structural, functional and biological unit of all living things.

In order to understand an organism or given tissues, it is important to understand how its cells work. Through cell culture, this becomes possible especially due to the fact the primary cells resemble the parental cells from the organism/tissue.

Whatever is learnt about the cells in vitro is representative of what is happening to the organism/tissue. This makes cell culture significantly important for vaccine development, screening (drugs etc) and diagnosis of given diseases/conditions.

Given that different types of cells require different environments for proliferation, there are different types of media used for culture such as serum-free media and serum containing media among others.

Once the right requirements have been provided, the cells will  increase in numbers and may form colonies, which can then be easily seen and identified. However, all this requires that the purpose of the procedure be understood.

Having a good understanding of what the procedure is meant to achieve, it becomes easier to prepare the culture with the right components. By understanding what the procedure is aimed for, the researcher will know whether to prepare a selective media (which allow for specific cells to grow) or differential media (allowing for different types of cells to grow).

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