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Why Add Serum to Tissue Culture
I am a student currently studying Biochemistry in South Africa. I have a problem as to the rationale for the addition of serum to tissue culture medium. Is it more desirable to have a system without serum or with it?
Also CO2 enriched environments are used as a natural buffering system.. is there any other use for a CO2 enriched environment?
Please if anyone could help me it would be greatly appreciated.
Last edited by admin; 02-22-2007 at 07:22 AM. Reason: Moved post to proper forum and added descriptive title
Wstudent, welcome to the forums!
that is a great question. There have been attempts to grow cells in the absence of tissue (similar to hydroponics for plants, growing them in water instead of soil!)...
the difficulties lie in getting the right nutrients and right amounts to the cells.
You are right in serum is not optimal for all cells, however most cells do better with serum than a nutrient rich buffer.
Several situations arise that serum should be absent (please add to this list):
- Studies involving signalling molececules (serum usually removed during treatment as serum usually contains these signalling molecules)
- Studies involving treatments with lipids, glucose or other nutrients (serum has lipids and sugars and thus makes it impossible to narrow the effect of 1 nutrient.
Please add to this list.
I found some more points to add to the list as well:
Serums also vary from batch to batch so using different serum on different cultures will result in different outcomes cause its difficult to control the "environment"
Serums have cytotoxins?
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