Using the correct vessel for cell seeding helps optimize and maintain cell health
When you begin cell seeding, you want to choose the right culture vessel to maintain cell health and optimize your cell culture. Factors to consider when selecting your vessels include cell type, purpose of culture, vessel materials and size, surface treatments, lids for gas exchange, and compatibility with your lab equipment. Your cell vessel choice will affect cell behavior and results. Let’s look a little more in-depth at these factors.
Choose your culture vessel design for your specific cell types
Different cell types may require different culture vessels. Consider whether you are working with adherent cells or suspension cells as this will influence your choice. Each requires a specific type of vessel for optimal growth.
Surface treatments can promote cell adhesion or prevent cell attachment, depending on your needs. For adherent cells, you may need culture dishes or plates with tissue culture-treated surfaces. For suspension cells, choose vessels with non-adherent surfaces.
Select the vessel based on the purpose of your cell culture
Are you performing short-term experiments, long-term cultures, or large-scale production? The purpose of your cell culture will dictate the type of vessel you need. Some vessels are designed for extended culture periods and can better maintain cell viability over time. Others are designed for short-term use, so they won’t stand up to extended time frames. Select one that will work best for your cell culture purpose.
Select the size of the culture vessel based on number of cells and incubator space
Consider the number of cells you need to seed and the available space in your incubator. Overcrowding can lead to poor aeration, uneven temperature distribution, and compromised cell growth. Common options include multi well plates, culture dishes, T-flasks, roller bottles, bioreactors, and more. For example, if you need a high cell density, you may opt for T-flasks or culture dishes with larger surface areas.
Ensure culture vessels are sterile to prevent contamination and promote cell growth
Ensure that the culture vessels are sterile and individually packaged to prevent contamination and incorrect conclusions. Sterile vessels also help to obtain reproducible results and encourage cell viability. Working with contaminated vessels can result in invalid experiments.
Decide if you need plastic or glass vessels for your cell seeding
Culture vessels are typically made of either plastic (e.g., polystyrene) or glass. Plastic vessels are disposable and convenient but can fluoresce, while glass vessels can be reusable but require more careful handling and cleaning.
Consider gas-permeable lids to allow for gas exchange
When cell seeding, you may need gas-permeable lids with your vessels to allow for better oxygen exchange. Gas-permeable lids or membranes are specialized coverings for culture vessels that allow gases, primarily oxygen and carbon dioxide, to pass through while preventing contamination. These lids are typically made of materials like silicone rubber or fluoropolymers, which possess the unique property of gas permeability. Consider gas-permeable lids if you require higher levels of oxygen, precise or uniform oxygen control, or continuous culture.
Ensure culture vessel is compatible with your equipment
Different types of culture vessels are designed for specific purposes and conditions. Using a compatible vessel ensures that your equipment performs at its best and achieves the desired results. Ensure that the culture vessel you choose is compatible with your incubators, microscopes, and other equipment. Incompatible vessels can lead to accidents, spills, leaks, or breakages, posing risks to laboratory personnel, the environment, and the equipment itself. Ensuring compatibility minimizes these risks.
Learn more about cell seeding and maintenance.