Consider these factors when buying flasks for adherence cell culture success.
Did you know that cells can adhere to a flask in about one hour? But, for this to happen, adherent cells such as fibroblasts, epithelial cells, and endothelial cells need a proper surface to attach to. Improper attachment can lead to cell death. Selecting the right flask is important for the success of adherent cell culture. You have a range of options to consider including tissue culture-treated plastic, glass, or specialized coated surfaces. You also need to choose your cell culture flask to meet the specific needs of the cells you are working with. Here factors to consider when choosing the right vessel for adherent cell culture:
Factors for consideration when choosing cell culture flasks for adherent cell culture
Determine flask surface treatment ideal for adherent cells
Different cells require specific surface treatments or coatings, so they can attach successfully to their surface. Some surface coatings include collagen and poly-l-lysine (PLL). Primary cells need a more biologically relevant substrate, while some immortalized cell lines can thrive on regular tissue culture-treated plastic. Be sure to explore coating options to optimize cell adhesion.
While your cells may grow in a non-treated flask, it’s likely many cellular characteristics will change as the cells struggle to anchor to the surface. Non-treated flasks lack the coating or surface treatment that provides a hydrophilic and negatively charged environment for cell adhesion, which is necessary for the attachment and growth of adherent cells. Where possible, use treated flasks for anchorage-dependent cells.
Adherent cells need certain surface area and volume to grow
To get your cells to grow, the surface area and volume of your vessel is crucial. Cell growth is limited to the area of your vessel. Cell culture flasks come in a variety of sizes. The surface area and volume of the flask should match your experimental requirements. Larger culture surfaces are necessary for high cell yields, while smaller surfaces may be adequate for pilot studies or limited cell quantities.
A flask lid is necessary for proper gas exchange for adherent cell culture growth
Choosing a flask with the right cap or lid is crucial for maintaining proper gas exchange because it helps with delivering oxygen to cells, removing carbon dioxide, and ensuring overall cellular health and metabolic function. Types of caps include vent caps, septum caps, gas-porous caps, baffle caps, and sterile caps. You can even get customized caps to meet your specific needs.
The sterility of a cell culture flask aids in adherent cell growth
Consider the ease and handling and sterility of your culture vessel. Sterile, disposable flasks are convenient for avoiding contamination and may be preferred for large-scale cultures. For long-term or specialized cultures, you might want reusable glass or plastic vessels. In such cases, thorough cleaning and autoclaving will be needed. And, always make sure your culture vessel material is compatible with your specific types of cells and culture conditions.
Examples of cell culture flasks
The Cole-Parmer sterile polycarbonate (PC) Erlenmeyer flasks are ideal for containing, mixing, and storing solutions. The clear flasks feature molded-in graduations allowing you quick volume assessment. Safe and shatterproof alternative to glass. Liquid sticking-resistant design at the neck enables easier pouring. The temperature range is -80 to 121 °C (-112 to 249.8 °F). The flask body can be autoclaved a single time.
The Cole-Parmer® Essentials Sterile Erlenmeyer Flasks, PETG sterile polyethylene terephthalate glycol (PETG) Erlenmeyer flasks are ideal for containing, mixing, and storing solutions. The crystal-clear flasks feature molded-in graduations allowing you quick volume assessment. Safe and shatterproof alternative to glass. Liquid sticking-resistant design at the neck enables easier pouring. Temperature range is -60 to 60 °C (-76 to 140 °F). It’s also available with leakproof plug seal cap or vented cap with 0.22 μm hydrophobic PTFE membrane for continuous gas exchange.
Find out more about Cell Culture Basics
A Beginner’s Guide to Cell Culture: Practical Advice for Preventing Needless Problems, National Library of Medicine, Sabine Weiskirchen Sarah K. Schröder Eva Miriam Buhl and Ralf Weiskirchen, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC10000895/, Accessed, September 8, 2023.
Cell Culture Basics: Equipment, Fundamentals and Protocols, Technology Networks, Jenna Bleloch PhD, https://www.technologynetworks.com/cell-science/articles/cell-culture-basics-equipment-fundamentals-and-protocols-348413, Accessed, September 8, 2023.