In vitro-based cell culture techniques are now fundamental to research in cancer, cell physiology, gene therapy, and regenerative medicine. These and other disciplines are impacted by a breakdown in good cell culture practices . Among the many concerns are the use of misidentified or cross contaminated cell lines, infection by adventitious agents, and altered growth/differentiation by poor medium or serum selection and/or improper cryopreservation techniques. All of these factors have led to the publication of an appreciable number of studies that are at best irreproducible and at worst completely useless .
With these concerns in mind, the American Type Culture Collection (ATCC) and the SIVB have collaborated to produce a series of eight manuscripts to address key aspects of Best Practices in Cell Culture (Table 1). The manuscripts are being published in In Vitro Cell and Developmental Biology-Animal. These will appear in the September through December 2017 issues. These papers have been authored by senior scientists with extensive experience in cell culture and are intended as a reference for those beginning research using cell culture as well as a guide to established laboratories and regulatory/granting agencies.
Table 1 Manuscript titles and authors
- Best Practices in Cell Culture: An Overview. J.M. Baust, G.C. Buehring, L. Campbell, E. Elmore, J.W. Harbell, R.W. Nims, P. Price, Y.A. Reid, and F. Simione
- Best Practices for Media Selection for Mammalian Cells. P. Price
- Best Practices for use and evaluation of animal serum as a component of cell culture medium. R.W. Nims and J.W. Harbell
- Best Practices for Naming, Receiving and Managing Cells in Culture. Y.A. Reid
- Best Practices for Authenticating Cell Lines. R.W. Nims and J.W. Harbell
- Best Practices for Detecting and Mitigating the Risk of Experiencing Cell Culture Contaminants. R.W. Nims and Y.A. Reid
- Best Practices for Cryopreserving, Thawing, Recovering and Assessing Cells. F. Simione, L. Campbell and J.W. Harbell
- Best Practices for Storing and Shipping Frozen Cells. F. Simione and T. Sharp
- Freedman, L.P., I.M. Cockburn, and T.S. Simcoe, The Economics of Reproducibility in Preclinical Research. PLOS Biology, 2015. 13(6): p. e1002165.
- Harris, R., Rigor Mortis; How Sloppy Science Creates Worthless Cures, Crushed Hopes, and Wastes Billion. 2017, New York: Basic Books.
Submitted by John W. Harbell
SIVB President Elect