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Cell-based experiments have played an essential role in many of today’s medical breakthroughs. Drug screening, toxicity tests, cancer research, virology, cell-based manufacturing, model systems, and gene therapy depend on a superior cell culture system, the removal of cells from a physiological environment and the establishment of a growing cell population in a highly controlled artificial environment.
The cell type used for these experiments is critical. Immortalized cell lines are relatively easy to grow and use, but it is not uncommon for these cells to have lost physiological properties, as they have been modified and passaged indefinitely. Comparative studies show, for example, that endothelial cell lines lack the distinctive phenotypes of primary endothelial cells1. A laboratory that uses cell lines takes on considerable risk by investing time and resources on a potentially irrelevant result.
Primary cells are derived directly from living tissue, and are more likely to represent physiological behavior. However, because primary cell isolation, purification, and determination of optimal growth conditions can be a costly endeavor in and of itself, scientists still use cell lines despite the potential pitfalls of cell line usage.
In 1994, Cell Applications, Inc. recognized the demand for primary cells and set out to galvanize this paradigm shift from cell lines to primary cells. With years of experience handling numerous notoriously finicky primary cell types, we have honed the craft of isolation, purification, subculture, and growth of primary cells. Our company is built on high purity, strictly quality controlled and characterized primary cells, including over 80 different human and animal primary cell types, as well as cell growth media and cell culture reagents, cell marker and signaling antibodies. These comprise a continuously growing cell culture toolbox.
Understand the key steps and tips related to the successful culturing of primary cells:
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