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Table 1 Concepts in cell culture

From: Ethical and technical considerations for the creation of cell lines in the head & neck and tissue harvesting for research and drug development (Part I): Techniques of tissue harvesting and propagation

Isolation of cells Cells can be isolated from tissues for ex vivo culture in several ways (purified from blood or by enzymatic digestion)
Maintaining cells in culture Cells are grown and maintained at an appropriate temperature, gas mixture and growth media (vary in pH, glucose concentration, growth factors, and the presence of other nutrient components) in a cell incubator. Some times extracellular matrix components (i.e. collagen or fibronectin) are needed to increase its adhesion
Manipulation of cultured cells Cells generally continue to divide in culture, this usually lead to nutrient depletion in the growth medium, Accumulation of apoptotic/necrotic cells, cell cycle arrest or promiscuous and unwanted cellular differentiation due to cell-to-cell contact. To avoid these problems cultured cells is manipulated. Most common manipulation: media changes, passaging cells, and transfecting cells
Media changes To replenish nutrients and avoid the build up of potentially harmful metabolic byproducts and dead cells by centrifugation or aspiration
Passaging (splitting) cells Involves transferring a small number of cells into a new vessel. This can either be done by introducing a small amount of culture containing a few cells diluted in a larger volume of fresh media or by a mixture of trypsin-EDTA, however other enzyme mixes are now available for this purpose
Transfection and transduction Involves the introduction of foreign DNA and the cells will express a protein of interest. More recently, the transfection of RNAi constructs have been realised as a convenient mechanism for suppressing the expression of a particular gene/protein