Tissue Culture

For some conditions it is necessary to carry out enzyme or in situ radiochemical incorporation/oxidation studies on cultured cells. Skin biopsies for these studies must be taken with great care to avoid primary contamination of the fibroblast culture using aseptic technique with sterile instruments. The biopsy should not be full thickness or too large, but about 1mm by 3 – 4mm in area and dropped immediately into sterile tissue culture medium, making sure that the biopsy is well immersed. At post-mortem there is always a greater risk of contamination, particularly when a large biopsy is taken. An internal tissue such as fascia may be preferred.

Fibroblast cultures are initiated in the Cytogenetics Laboratory and cell lines are stored in the Cell Bank situated in the same laboratory. Sufficient cells for study should be available after about 2 – 5 weeks in culture. All cultures are subsequently banked in a cryogenic store.

Test Required specimen & volume Special precautions Turnaround time Reference ranges Section
Initiation of culture Skin biopsy, amniocytes or CVS To reach the laboratory within 48 hours Dependent on cell growth n/a Tissue Culture
Maintenance of cultures initiated elsewhere CC, AFC, CCV To reach the laboratory within 48 hours n/a n/a Tissue Culture