General Guidelines for Proper Cell Seeding from a Cryogenic State

Thawing a cryosample taken out of cryostorage

Seeding cells from preparing your workspace to cell maintenance

Often, cells are stored in a cryogenic state for long-term preservation, making it necessary to thaw and seed them properly to maintain their viability and functionality. If you plan to seed cells from a cryogenic state, special care and consideration are needed to ensure successful cell culture experiments. The key to successfully reviving cells from cryopreservation is to thaw them gently and efficiently. Here are other guidelines to consider including preparing your workspace, thawing the cells, counting cells, maintaining aseptic conditions, preparing the cell culture plate, how to incubate the cell culture plate and then maintaining your seeded cells.

Prepare your workspace for cell seeding

cryogenic preservation and freezing

Before you begin seeding cells, make sure you have all your equipment and reagents ready to ensure a smooth and efficient process. Make sure your cryovials containing the frozen cells are readily available to be thawed and seeded. A sterile cell culture hood is essential to maintain a contamination-free environment, protecting your cells from external agents.

Additionally, have your culture media prepared and sterilized, as well as a supply of sterile pipettes to handle the cells and media with precision. Finally, ensure you have a cell culture plate or dish suitable for your specific experiment. By having everything prepared and organized in advance, you can minimize the risk of contamination and ensure your cell seeding process goes smoothly. Ensure you have your equipment and reagent ready including the cryogenic vials containing the frozen cells, a cell culture hood, cell counter, culture media, sterile pipettes, and a cell culture plate.

How to thaw cryopreserved cells

Retrieve the cryovial containing the frozen cells from liquid nitrogen storage, taking care to maintain aseptic conditions throughout. Swiftly thaw the vial by immersing it in a 37 °C water bath or by utilizing a controlled-rate freezer. Make sure to check the guidelines specified by the cell manufacturer. This careful procedure prevents potential damage to the cells during the thawing process. Once the cells are fully thawed, gently transfer them to a sterile culture tube containing prewarmed culture media, which provides a nurturing environment for the cells to recover and flourish, thus enabling further research and experimentation.

Count cells to determine cell concentration and seeding density

To accurately determine cell concentration, you can use a hemocytometer or an automated cell counter. An automated cell counter gives you a much quicker and more precise count. Once the cell concentration is determined, the next step is to calculate the volume of cell suspension required to achieve the desired seeding density, ensuring your cultures are set up with the right number of cells for optimal results.

Maintain aseptic conditions for cell precision and purity

Laminar flow hoodIt is important to keep an aseptic condition as you work with your cell seeding and culture. You can do this by working within a sterile cell culture hood. This specialized workspace helps shield experiments from outside contaminants and ensures the integrity of your work. Additionally, you should adhere to strict personal protective measures, such as donning lab coats, gloves, and face masks and consider cryogenic PPE when working with your frozen cells. These safeguards not only protect you from any potential hazards but also help in maintaining the purity and precision of your experiments, contributing to reliable and replicable results.

Preparing your cell culture plate

Prewarm both the cell culture plate and the culture media to 37 °C. You want to provide an environment conducive to cell proliferation and viability. For used plates, remove any residual liquid to avoid contamination and maintain a sterile culture environment. Depending on the specific requirements of your cell type, you may want to use cell culture-treated plates or consider coating plates with extracellular matrix proteins which can enhance cell adhesion, growth, and differentiation.

Seeding cells into the culture plate

CELL CULTURE PLATESGently mix the cell suspension to ensure an even distribution of cells, as cell settling can lead to uneven seeding. Next, aspirate the culture media from the cell culture tube and, with precision, add the appropriate volume of cell suspension to each well of the culture plate. The key is to distribute the cells evenly by gently tilting and swirling the plate, ensuring that they are well-spread and cover the surface uniformly. It’s important to double-check that the final volume and cell concentration align with the specific requirements of your experiment, because variations can impact the outcome.

Incubation for controlled environment

After seeding the cells, place your cell culture plate in your controlled environment, typically in a 37 °C incubator with a 5% CO2 atmosphere. This controlled incubation environment mimics the physiological conditions necessary for the growth and proliferation of the cultured cells. The incubator provides a stable temperature and CO2 concentration, which are essential for metabolic processes and pH balance required for cell survival and growth.

Maintenance of cells

cell passaging

Regular visual inspection and microscopic examination are vital to ensure that the cells are healthy and actively proliferating. To maintain optimal conditions, change the culture media as needed, typically after the initial 24 hours, which helps remove any non-adherent or dead cells that might compromise the culture’s quality. Once the cells have successfully adhered and are exhibiting robust growth, you can confidently proceed with your experiments as originally planned or choose to scale up the culture for larger-scale applications. This meticulous process is fundamental in maintaining healthy and viable cell populations for various scientific applications.

Additional considerations for cell seeding

Specific cell lines or primary cells may have unique requirements, so always consult the literature or the provider’s recommendations for your particular cell type. Maintaining sterility, careful handling, and consistent monitoring are key to successful cell seeding and culture.

Learn more about cell seeding and maintainance.

Visit Cole-Parmer’s complete selection of lab equipment for your cell seeding needs.

Related Articles

Choosing the Right Cryovials and Caps for Successful Cell Cryopreservation

Types of Basic Cell Cultures: A Closer Look at Characteristics and Behavior

Cell Culture Lab Equipment Check List and Guide

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