Biomedical scientists need to do more to improve the relevance and reproducibility of cell culture research

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There is an urgent need for the biomedical research reports of mammalian cells to be more standardized and detailed, and to better control and measure the environmental conditions of cell culture. This will make the modeling of human physiology more accurate and contribute to the reproducibility of research.
A team of KAUST scientists and colleagues in Saudi Arabia and the United States analyzed 810 randomly selected papers on mammalian cell lines. Fewer than 700 of them involved 1,749 individual cell culture experiments, including relevant data on the environmental conditions of the cell culture medium. The team’s analysis shows that more work needs to be done to improve the relevance and reproducibility of such studies.
Cultivate cells in a controlled incubator according to standard protocols. But cells will grow and “breathe” over time, exchanging gas with the surrounding environment. This will affect the local environment in which they grow, and may change the culture’s acidity, dissolved oxygen, and carbon dioxide parameters. These changes affect cell function and may make the physical condition different from the condition in the living human body.
“Our research emphasizes the extent to which scientists neglect to monitor and control the cellular environment, and to the extent to which reports enable them to reach scientific conclusions by specific methods,” Klein said.
For example, researchers found that about half of the analytical papers failed to report the temperature and carbon dioxide settings of their cell cultures. Less than 10% reported the atmospheric oxygen content in the incubator, and less than 0.01% reported the acidity of the medium. No papers reported on dissolved oxygen or carbon dioxide in the media.
We are very surprised that researchers have largely ignored the environmental factors that maintain physiologically relevant levels during the entire process of cell culture, such as culture acidity, although it is well known that this is important for cell function. ”
The team is led by Carlos Duarte, a marine ecologist at KAUST, and Mo Li, a stem cell biologist, in collaboration with Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte, a developmental biologist at the Salk Institute. He is currently a visiting professor at KAUST and recommends that biomedical scientists develop standard reports And control and measurement procedures, in addition to using special instruments to control the culture environment of different cell types. Scientific journals should establish reporting standards and require adequate monitoring and control of media acidity, dissolved oxygen and carbon dioxide.
“Better reporting, measuring, and controlling the environmental conditions of cell culture should improve the ability of scientists to repeat and reproduce experimental results,” says Alsolami. “A closer look can drive new discoveries and increase the relevance of preclinical research to the human body.”
“Mammalian cell culture is the basis for the manufacture of virus vaccines and other biotechnologies,” explains marine scientist Shannon Klein. “Before testing on animals and humans, they are used to study basic cell biology, replicate disease mechanisms, and study the toxicity of new drug compounds.”
Klein, SG, etc. (2021) The general neglect of environmental control in mammalian cell culture requires best practices. Natural Biomedical Engineering.
Tags: B cell, cell, cell culture, incubator, mammalian cell, manufacturing, oxygen, pH, physiology, preclinical, research, T cell
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Post time: Sep-07-2021