Primary cells, active enzymes and small molecules for stem cell and Drug discovery research

Human Pancreatic Islets - Prodo LaboratoriesIt is widely accepted that data obtained from primary cells is not only desired, but, most relevant when trying to study physiological interactions. Experimentation in primary cells allows a deeper and more physiologically relevant view into the cellular function of proteins and enzymes that will allow the design of more specific drugs with meaningful and specific targets.

Perhaps the most useful feature of standard primary cell cultures is the possibility to modulate and compare the metabolic and regulatory pathways of interest and to delineate the physiological effects of various compounds and drugs.

The challenges of isolation & culture

The need to isolate individual primary cells from whole tissues arises from our desire to understand the contribution of each cell type on the function of whole tissues and organs. Over the last three decades, protocols for primary cell culture have been refined and have now become an essential tool in biomedical research. Intense interest in this field has resulted in numerous published protocols for the isolation of various cell types, their culture conditions, and evaluation of their differentiation state.  Thus, primary cells isolated directly from human or animal tissues can be maintained in the differentiated state for a relatively short period (days to weeks) under standard culture conditions.

Human Hepatocytes Plated XenotechCulture conditions and tissue sample handling are two major factors that cause the variations that usually render primary cell culture both frustrating and unsuccessful for most laboratories.  The available literature and published protocols are often time consuming and expensive since researchers have to prepare and purchase small batches of specialty products to even attempt the protocols.  In addition, the variation between laboratories and individual scientists is a major obstacle that most often leads to difficulty and failure in isolating primary cells from published protocols.

The end-result from such variability leads to unreliable, non-reproducible results that are very difficult to reconcile and compare between laboratories.  Even within the same laboratory variation between different preparations of primary cells is often an issue due to the variability of materials used in the media and serum preparation, forcing researchers to spend hours standardizing protocols.  The ultimate solution to many of these problems is the creation of a standardized cell culture system that includes all the reagents and protocols leaving only the origin of the tissue as the major source of variability.

295 solutions for isolating & culture primary cells

PrimaCell - Do-It-Yourself kit for cell isolationIt is with these thoughts that scientists at CHI Scientific have set out to develop the first standardized system to isolate and culture primary cells from mammalian tissues.  The system is comprised of a kit called PrimaCell™ that comes complete with the materials and the protocols to allow scientists to isolate primary cells from a given tissue type.  The flexibility, ease and standardization of species-specific, tissue-specific and cell-specific primary cultures systems are extremely important in biomedical research and drug discovery.

Written by Jean-François Têtu, PhD
Jean-François Têtu is Sales & Marketing Manager at Tebubio. He also fervently defends and promotes anything from his home territory, the north of France!