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Cell Culture Lab Basics

Cell culture includes a diverse and far-ranging collection of operations for maintaining, expanding, and utilizing cells grown outside their natural environment. Typically "cell culture" refers to cultures derived from multi-cell, eukaryotic organisms such as human, animals, and even insect, the removal of cell from tissue to be grown in a favorable artificial environment. The cells may be removed from the tissue directly, or they may be derived from a cell line that has been pre-established.

Contamination of cultures must be a major concern for all cell culture labs, and therefore labs should be situated in areas with low amount of thru traffic, preferably a designated room with sealed windows that can be kept dust free.

Cell Culture Lab Equipment

The specific requirements of each cell culture lab will vary depending on the type of research being conducted. For example, the specific needs of a mammalian cell culture lab focusing on hermochromatosis will be different from those of a lab focusing on protein expression and using insect cell cultures. However, to perform a typical range of cell culture procedures for any prolonged period there are several pieces of equipment that are required for even the most basic cell culture labs:

  • Laminar flow bio safety cabinet
  • Centrifuge
  • Refrigerator
  • Freezer
  • Microscope
  • Incubator
  • Controlled temperature water bath

Most labs also incorporate or expand to allow an ultra-low (-86°C) freezer and/or cryogenic storage tanks, as well as larger floor model centrifuges to increase batch process sizes and increase throughput, an autoclave, top-loading and analytical balances, microplate washers, and laboratory glassware washers, amount other equipment and instruments.

American Instrument Exchange offers three different outlines for you cell culture lab set up: a basic package starting at $13,300, a standard package starting at $31,660 and a premium package starting at around $65,000.