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Control of Cellular Metabolism

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Merck:/Freestyle/BI-Bioscience/Cell-Culture/cellASIC/cell-complexity2.jpgCellular Response to Environment Is Complex

Despite being able to visualize and analyze living cells under the microscope in real time, scientists are still challenged by the fact that cells are ALIVE, and they respond to their environment dynamically.

Cellular metabolism requires an exchange of not only vital nutrients but of gases such as oxygen and carbon dioxide. Cellular waste products must be removed and fresh materials replenished. Many living cells including mammalian and microbiota cells are typically not robust organisms. Many cell types do not tolerate unfavorable conditions for extended periods. In addition, affected cells may modify their behavior to adapt to their changing micro-environment often without the experimenter being aware of the changes.

Slow Dynamic Processes Need Long-Term Cultures

Cell Dividing

Merck:/Freestyle/BI-Bioscience/Cell-Culture/cellASIC/slow-processes.jpg Merck:/Freestyle/BI-Bioscience/Cell-Culture/cellASIC/cell-dividing.jpg
Some key dynamic processes can be painfully slow making traditional cell culture difficult. Slow dynamic processes require a stable cell culture environment over extended periods with minimal plate movement or disruption.
For example, to view cell division, the time required can vary from 8 minutes to 24 hours for mammalian cells, so this further complicates live cell analyses as researchers must provide ways to keep their targets alive and stable during these extended times.

How cells are viewed, including the type and intensity of illumination can affect cellular behavior and potentially the research outcome. Finding a long-term and continuous solution to these common cell culture situations is critical for proper live cell analysis. 

Controlling the Microenvironment Is Necessary

One effective approach to solving the basic metabolic conditions for optimal live cell growth is using experimental designs that control and manipulate parameters in that environment. Without the ability to precisely control the metabolic events taking place scientists are reduced to being a mere spectator rather than an active participant in research unfolding during the analysis.

See how CellASIC® microfluidic cell culture allows control of microenvironments