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Cell Culture Basics: Plate, split and freeze human cells Virtual Lab

Find out what it’s like to work in a cell culture laboratory. Learn how to use the aseptic technique to avoid contamination of your cells, and discover what it takes to keep them alive.

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Cell Culture Basics: Plate, split and freeze human cells

About this Simulation

Did you know there are approximately 37 trillion cells in your body? In the Cell Culture Basics simulation, you will learn how to culture cells in a controlled environment. You will perform the different steps to keep them healthy by using a standard cell culture protocol for eukaryotic cells. For this purpose, you will also learn the aseptic technique.

Provide an extra vial of cells

In the Cell Culture Basics simulation, your lab assistant, Dr. One, is working on finding promising treatments for skin cancer. She is performing an experiment where she is using fibroblasts, but to complete the experiment, she needs more cells. Your goal is therefore to help her with the cell culture to grow more cells and store a vial for future tests.

Perform a cell culture passage

During the Cell Culture Basics lab, you will learn what the ideal physical and chemical conditions to grow eukaryotic cells are. You will also prepare the reagents needed to support the growth of cells. You will work in a biosafety cabinet and discover how to use the aseptic technique to avoid any undesired contamination in your cell culture.

Watch your cells grow—fast

Unlike in a real lab, you don’t need to wait for hours and hours to see how the fibroblasts you seed will grow. Instead, in this virtual simulation, you can fast-forward the process and make it grow in just a couple of seconds! You can use a phase contrast microscope to visualize your cell culture and identify different cell morphologies. When your cells have reached the desired growth, you will use trypsin to unravel the secrets of a cell culture passage.

Analyze cell viability and freeze cells

As your final task in the Cell Culture Basics simulation, you will analyze the viability of your cell culture using the Trypan blue exclusion stain and an automatic cell counter. After that, you will prepare a new vial of cells to be cryopreserved using DMSO as a cryopreservation agent.

Will you be able to provide a vial of healthy cells for the cancer research experiments?

Learning Objectives

At the end of this simulation, you will be able to:

  • Apply the aseptic technique and other good laboratory practices in a cell culture lab

  • Describe the minimum requirements to have an adequate cell environment that supports cell growth

  • Describe and perform the key steps when working with mammalian cells in vitro: thawing and plating; cell passaging; cell cryopreservation

  • Correctly use a biosafety cabinet and an automated cell counter

Techniques in Lab

At the end of this simulation, you will be able to:

  • Cell counting
  • Cell passaging
  • Cell culture
  • Cell cryopreservation

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