The cultivation of tissues or cells extracted from a biopsy was explored in analytical biology as early as the 19th Century, but contemporary zoologists lacked the necessary knowledge and laboratory instrumentation to successfully culture tissues in absence of the parent organism. Progress was made when suitable solutions were discovered that provided the required nutrients to facilitate cell growth, including lymph, blood serum, and plasma. These dispersants also required advanced process control technology to isolate cells from extraneous matter and carefully regulate the physiochemical conditions of the resultant culture.
Laboratory rotators are engineered to perform both processes at two primary stages of the tissue culture specimen preparation:
to agitate samples in suspension and isolate the desirable cells from their extracellular structure;
to continuously agitate samples and encourage cell growth within a dispersive solution.
Most tissue cultures are grown on a substrate after the cells have been isolated in solution using a laboratory rotator. The dispersant then encourages cell growth on the flat surface, which can be directly assessed through optical microscopy.
Alternative cell cultures can be grown directly in a dispersant media. This typically requires two-stages of agitation. The first is used to isolate necessary analyte cells by suspending the sample in a digestive solution and rotating at speed, and the second takes place when the isolated cells are dispersed in growth media and gently rotated to maintain desirable reaction conditions.
Simple nerve cells bathed in lymph were among the first biological tissue samples that were successfully grown in a research environment, now it is possible to culture complex tissues such as human stem cell lines in either biological or synthetic media. This is due to broad improvements to our understanding of molecular biology and the availability of precise laboratory equipment, such as tissue culture rotators.
Tissue Culture Rotators from Glas-Col
Glas-Col supplies a broad range of laboratory rotators suitable for cell isolation or tissue culture specimens. Our rugged rotator is a versatile piece of laboratory equipment engineered for variable speed rotation from gentle sloshing to severe agitation. The rotator head can be clamped to provide leverage for optimal positioning of the motor at any point across a 110° arc. This provides outstanding control of the agitation conditions to encourage cell isolation at higher speeds and cell growth at reduced speeds. The Mini Rotator from Glas-Col is ideal for lower throughput tissue culturing, providing centrifugal agitation of micro-test tubes at variable speeds from 2 – 80 RPM.
Each of these instruments must first be equipped with our additional Tissue Culture Head prior to cell growth experiments. It can hold up to 108 micro-test tubes for simultaneous agitation and is compact enough to fit inside most benchtop incubators for cell growth applications with temperature-critical parameters.
Read more about our rotators, in: Laboratory Mixing: Outlining the Capacities and Applications of Rotators. Or, if you would like any more information about any of our products and accessories, please do not hesitate to contact us.