Lab, Medical, Tubes

An Introduction to Cell Cultures

Cell culture is a process that not a lot of people have proper knowledge of. All the processes and procedures are not the same, as they tend to vary based on the application and cell type. Although if you are confused as to what a cell culture is, we are here to tell you all about it.

We have developed a basic guide so that you can know all about cell culture and everything related to it.

What is Cell Culture?

Cell culture is a procedure that enlists the removal of cells from a plant, animal, or even a human body and seeing how it grows in an artificial yet favorable environment. The cells may come from a cell strain or line that has previously been established, or they may be directly taken from the tissue and disaggregated before cultivation using mechanical or enzymatic methods.

The entire experiment is usually carried out in cell culture plates, which are specially designed to support isolated cell growth.

Before we move on, here are the terms concerning cell culture you should be aware of.

Types of cell cultures that exist

1- Primary Culture

Primary culture is the initial process of isolating cells from the organism and then preparing them for further processes by proliferating them throughout a substrate. Once that is achieved, the cells are then subcultured, meaning they are transferred to another container in which the environment is artificially tailored to speed up and enhance the development of the culture.

2- Secondary Culture

In the process of a secondary culture, cell lines have been influenced by human telomerase transcriptase (also known as hTERT), which is an enzyme that modifies and alters the phenotypic properties of cell culture, allowing it to divide indefinitely. Once achieved, the culture will keep expanding, allowing researchers to get more and more samples. This process is also known as cell immortalization and can only be achieved with certain types of cells and in only certain circumstances.

Cell Lines

Once the first subculture is completed, what was first known as a primary culture now becomes a cell line or subclone. However, the cell lines made from primary cultures have a short lifespan. When they are passed through new generations, the cells with the greatest capacity for growth predominate, leading to some degree of genotypic and phenotypic uniformity.

Cell Strain

A cell line turns into a cell strain when a subpopulation of the cell line is picked from the culture using cloning or another technique. Additionally, you can expect a cell stain to often acquire further genetic changes as the parent line is initiated. (Thermo Fisher)

Continuous and Finite Cell Lines

Cells that do not undergo the immortalization process don’t proliferate and expand indefinitely and, as such, only remain as finite cell lines. But those that do go through the transformation, as mentioned under the previous heading, expand indefinitely. The latter is then known to be continuous cell lines.

When cells only divide a limited number of times before they lose their ability to multiply, it is a result of a genetically settled event called Senescence. This kind of cell is also known as finite. However, there are a few cell lines that have the ability to become immortal as a result of a process known as transformation, which can happen both spontaneously or be induced virally or chemically.  So, when a transformation is performed on a cell line that is finite and it gains the ability to multiply indefinitely, it becomes a continuous cell line.

Conditions for Cell Culture

Ultimately, the conditions needed to culture a cell depend on the type of cell it is and where it was derived from. But there are certain conditions that are universal in cell culture:

  1. Substrate: It is a medium in which the cells are suspended. These substrates are a medium that contains all the essential nutrients such as carbohydrates, amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and such that a cell culture needs to expand.
  2. Growth Factors: These are proteins that will stimulate the growth of the cells. These proteins help in cellular division and differentiation.
  3. Hormones: Hormones also help the cell culture expand but more importantly, they control and regulate the growth of the cell culture.
  4. Gases (O2, CO2): These gases are essential to maintain the health and pH level of the culture due to the reactions that they have with the medium and the cells themselves.
  5. A Regulated Environment: All external factors such as room temperature, humidity levels, and other factors are also important.

Though it depends on the type of cell, cells require one of two kinds of substrates to develop, some cells require a solid or semi-solid substrate environment while others can be suspended in a liquid substrate environment. 


If, after the process of subculturing, there remains a surplus of cells that are about to go unused, then discarding them is not recommended. Instead, it is recommended to cryopreserve them (store them at -130 Degrees Celsius temperatures) in a protective agent to keep them safe until they are required for further use.

MBP Inc offers different products for their storage and other storage, such as cryogenic vials, sealing film for cold storage, Kingfisher Plastics deep-wells, and more.

Morphology Of Cells In Culture

Depending on their appearance and shape, cells in a culture can be divided into three categories.

  1. Fibroblast-like: cells grow while being attached to a substrate and are known to be bipolar or multipolar.
  2. Epithelial-like: cells also grow hooked to a substrate but in discrete patches. They can be found in polygonal shapes with dimensions that are much more regular.
  3. Lymphoblast-like: cells normally grow while being suspended and without having an attachment. They can usually be observed in a spherical shape.

Methods of Cell Culture

There are two cell culture methods as follows:

  1. Tissue Culture: A tissue is a method where tissue pieces are grown in tissue culture.
  2. Organ Culture: The organ culture correctly models the organ functions in various states and conditions by the actual use in vitro organ itself.

Tissue Culture

Tissue Culture is one of the primary methods of cell culture. As discussed above, tissue culture involves the tissue’s growth and maintenance. It is a biological research method in which tissue fragments from an animal or plant are moved to an artificial setting where they can continue to survive and function on a large scale.

Some of the plant tissue culture methods are described below.

  1. Seed Culture: Plants like orchids are used in seed culture. In this method, the plant tissues are extracted from an in-vitro-grown plant in an unnatural setting where they are subjected to reproduction to obtain new plants.
  2. Embryo Culture: This method sexually produces a zygotic embryo for culturing. Embryo Culture is used to overcome seed dormancy by shortening the germination period.
  3. Callus Culture – The callus culture involves the undifferentiated growing and dividing of the mass of cells. The callus can be induced to differentiate into different organs when proliferated in culture.
  4. Protoplast Culture – A protoplast is a cell with no cell wall isolated from any part of the plant, like leaves, roots, or embryos. This method is used for whole plant regeneration, development, and cell cloning.

Cell And Tissue Culture Plates

Cell and Tissue Culture Plates are perfect shallows used in laboratories that provide the most adherent cells for healthy reproductive growth. These plates offer optimal and compatible surfaces for animal cell attachment and growth. Due to warrants consistency of behavior and strictly controlled parameters of the character, proprietary vacuum plasma treatments are used to obtain the surface of cell and tissue culture plates.


Cell culture is an essential and major tool in the field of microbiology and cellular biology. They allow researchers and doctors to study the physiology and biochemistry of cells. In research, these cells can be studied for how they are built and how various environmental and internal factors affect them, their lifespan, and health. They can also be tested for how they are affected if drugs or other toxic compounds are imposed upon them. In the medical field, cultures are important to detect diseases and develop vaccines and other medical compounds. Cell cultures have incredibly versatile uses, and they themselves are quite versatile due to their endurance and ability to reproduce.


The complicated process of cell cultures is made easy by modern technology and equipment. MBP Inc is a company that aims to make processes like this more straightforward and more convenient for researchers and doctors. We sell equipment for the cell culture process, such as cell culture dishes, flasks, plates, and Erlenmeyer flasks. We also sell a whole host of other products such as pipettes and filter tips, 200ul Low Retention Filter Tips being a good example. So, if you are looking for someone to supply your lab with essential products and equipment, then MBP Inc is the place for you. Order today.

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