Centrifuge Applications for Cell Culture

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Cell Culture

Cell Culture is now used routinely in the lab environment. Cells are typically grown for research purposes, vaccine production (measles, mumps, rubella, and chickenpox), Monoclonal antibodies and for recombinant therapeutic proteins.

It starts with a primary cell culture line, which is then grown into a secondary line. Cells have a life span and must be fed and basically kept “happy”. This means changing the media “food” routinely and also making sure that there is no contamination from yeasts, endotoxins, mycoplasma etc.

Certain cell lines like to be anchored to grow, hence they grow on the container (flask, roller bottle, etc) wall. Other cell lines and some transformed cell lines and cells derived from malignant tumors can be grown in suspension. To make a cell line “immortal” means it has to be modified, such as making a Hybridoma cell so that the cell line continues to grow indefinitely.


Animal and Tissue Culture


Animals and tissues are still used for viral vaccine production. Automated processes are available to punch through chick eggshell to inoculate virus into developing embryo. The virus is harvested from the eggs days afterwards by centrifugation.

Role of Centrifugation

Hettich has manufactured centrifuges for over one hundred years and have many models (i.e. Mikro 220, Rotofix 32A and Rotina 420) that are used in cell culture.

Centrifugation is used to remove protein end products. Centrifugation is also used to remove dead cells, cell debris, etc. Customers used to transfer the media with cells from flasks into a conical centrifuge tube; centrifuge the tube and re-suspend the cell pellet.

Hettich centrifuges have custom adapters available for culture flasks, this reduces contamination to the flask, by reducing the number of transfer steps, saving time and money. With our Hettich Roto Silenta we can even spin roller bottles.

Adherent cells need to be put into solution before centrifugation, this is done with EDTA, Trypsin of a combination.

For those customers that perform DNA manipulations, in microliter tubes, to cells before culturing, Hettich has a variety of centrifuge models (Mikro 120, Mikro 200 and Mikro 220) with microliter tube rotors each with varying capacities.