Introduction to cell culture

Methods Mol Biol. 2012;806:1-13. doi: 10.1007/978-1-61779-367-7_1.


The basics of cell culture as applied to human cells are discussed. Biosafety when working with human tissue, which is often pathogenic, is important. The requirements for a tissue culture laboratory are described, particularly the range of equipment needed to carry out cell isolation, purification, and culture. Steps must be taken to maintain aseptic conditions to prevent contamination of cultures with micro-organisms. Basic cell-handling techniques are discussed, including choice of media, primary culture, and cryopreservation of cells so they can be stored for future use. Common assays which are used to determine cell viability and activity are considered.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Culture Techniques / instrumentation*
  • Cell Culture Techniques / methods*
  • Cell Culture Techniques / standards
  • Humans
  • Laboratories / standards