A Guest Blog by Graziella Mendonsa, Ph.D., Product Manager at MIDSCI
In the past cultureware has mostly been focused on culturing standard cell lines that have historically been easy to culture. However, with the explosion of stem cell culture and the now common practice of culturing many different cell types, cultureware has needed to evolve as well. Over the years, improvements have been developed to increase the success of cultureware and to provide a more hospitable cell-growing environment, including innovations like gas-plasma treatment and biological extracellular matrices. Yet there is still opportunity to improve cultureware and address some of the most common challenges cell culture scientists face.
Techno Plastic Products (TPP) is a Premium Swiss manufactured line of cell cultureware that is designed by scientists for scientists. Virgin plastics of highest purity and quality are poured with perfection into uniquely engineered molds to deliver the perfect flask, dish or plate for adherent cells to attach to. Suspension cells also get an updated housing with a conical Bioreactor that significantly enhances distribution of gas exchange and nutrition. Quality control is the number one priority for TPP, which includes the testing of each and every piece manufactured at their site.
Maintaining Articles Temperatures
Cell culture in general is treated as a great in vitro model system to assay signal transduction, cellular cross talk and responses to externally applied gene activators or inhibitors. Since cells in culture are sensitive to environmental stimuli and react accordingly for adaptation, it is essential to maintain their necessary vitals such as temperature and CO2 stable and non-fluctuating. Almost every lab with multiple scientists performing cell culture usually stacks their flasks, dishes and plates to save on space in their incubator. However, a key question to ask is “Are the vessels in the middle of the stack the same temperature as that on the top or bottom of the stack?”. The answer is a resounding “Probably Not!.” Therefore TPP has engineered a raised growth surface on their flasks, dishes and plates to avoid insulation of the adjoining vessels and has designed the vessels to have a stable footing for enhanced security in stacking.
Maintaining Optimal Nutrition, Gas Exchange and Gene Expression
The foundation of cell culture at the time of seeding in a flask or dish, undoubtedly sets up for consequent cellular viability and propagation during passaging and for consistent downstream gene reporting assays. Therefore how cells are initially thawed from frozen and plated during the first 2-3 days has a dramatic impact on cellular behavior downstream. Therefore controlling the flatness of the surface upon which cells adhere to reigns important to obtain consistent cell monolayers. Cells that are growing in layers are not only deprived of nutrition and the optimal gas exchange, but are also now transcribing uneven gene expression. TPP manufacturers one of the flattest growth surfaces in the market.
Evaporation of Media
Evaporation of media in 96-well plates appears to be one of the most common complaints from cell culture scientists. This is due to the overheating of the outer wells and a consequent temperature gradient across the well plate and across the stack of well plates in the incubator. This uneven heating can also lead to condensation build up which are breeding grounds for bacteria. The temporary solution generically recommended is to fill the outer wells with media alone or PBS. However the wastage of unused wells for cell growth and experimentation amounts to almost 40%. TPP plates eliminate this concern with its raised growth surface for optimal stackability and consequent even heating from all sides. Ultimately, a 96-well plate is used for multiple replicates of control and experimental treatments and with TPP plates, one can achieve that goal because surrounding environmental conditions such as temperature are no longer a contributor to variation.
Eliminating Dead Space
Focusing in on the flasks, it is strikingly obvious that TPP flasks are shorter in length. That was purposely designed to encompass the entire bottom of the flask as the treated growth surface. Therefore, with no wasted “dead space” in flask, the cell to media ratio is now optimally maximized. All TPP flasks come with an angled neck; this small design tweak serves as the best method to eliminate media accumulation in the neck and thus the consequent high risk of contamination. TPP also has filtered caps for their flasks that are designed to be hydrophobic in nature, so that incase media does slosh against the cap when the flask is either laid at the microscope or put back in the incubator, the risk of contamination is minimized greatly. The angled neck also provides full access to the internal corners of the flask for a serological pipette or scraper during trypsinization or cell harvestation respectively.
TPP dishes have ingenuity spelled all over it. From the unique grip ring on the edge of the dish that prevents accidental dropping to the internal clock orientation for visual quadrants during microscopy, TPP continues to invent upgrades to the cell culture dish that take cell cultureware from standard to ergonomic. TPP cultureware, designed by scientists for scientist, provide you with unique and innovative upgrades that translate to more consistent seeding, handling, treatment and harvestation of cells. Peace of mind included.