Help & FAQs: Cell Culture Products

  • How will non-tumorigenic cells/tissues grow or differentiate when implanted in vivo in Cultrex® BME?
  • Non-transformed cells mixed with Cultrex® BME and implanted in vivo have been found to continue to survive and remain differentiated but generally do not grow. No normal tissues have been found to transform under these conditions. For example, Sertoli cells survive at least a week and retain their cord-like structures. We again encourage investigators to try different cell types and let us know their results.
  • What is R&D Systems doing to reduce its use of packaging from non-renewable resources? R&D Systems should consider re-using styrofoam boxes that are in good condition after delivery.
  • Environmental stewardship is important to R&D Systems and its employees. R&D Systems regularly explores "green" options. First and foremost, the energy expended to ship back the styrofoam box is more detrimental to the environment than having the facility re-use or recycle it. Our stance is to encourage our customers to implement a recycling program locally and we can identify a recycling center for styrofoam nearest your facility if necessary. At R&D Systems we have chosen to reduce the use of styrofoam as much as possible by: Doing extensive stability testing in order to determine which products can be shipped with minimal packaging at ambient temperatures, Converting the use of non-recyclable packaging materials to recyclable plastics, cardboard, or biodegradable materials, and Continuing to investigate alternatives to dry ice shipments, the use of re-usable containers, and gel packs that allow for smaller styrofoam containers. Employees were key to initiating a recycling program at our facilities. Internally, we recycle paper, plastic, cardboard, aluminum, glass, and styrofoam.
  • What kinds of tumor cells/biopsy specimens grow in vivo?
  • Many cell lines and tumor biopsy specimens (usually cut into small fragments) have been found to grow in vivo when implanted with Cultrex® BME. These include melanoma, intestinal, prostate, breast, lung, renal, and liver cancers as well as the 3T3 mouse embryonic fibroblast cell line.
  • Which basement membrane protein is best for studying invasion?
  • Choice of matrix should correspond to the environment that you wish to recapitulate. Basement membrane extract (BME) will recapitulate the basal lamina, which underlie most cells of epithelial or endothelial origin. Collagen I is the major constituent of connective tissue, and it is commonly inhabited by stationary cells, such as fibrocytes, adipose cells, and migrating cells, such as mast cells, macrophages, monocytes, lymphocytes, plasma cells, and eosinophils.

Cell Culture Media and Supplements

Cell Invasion/Migration Assays

  • How does Cultrex® BME promote cell differentiation?
  • All epithelial and endothelial cells are in contact with a basement membrane matrix on at least one of their surfaces. By providing them with their natural matrix in vitro as a substrate for the cells that provides biological cues, the cells can assume a more physiological morphology (i.e. correct shape) and begin expression of cell-lineage specific proteins. Two-dimensional plastic substrates, in combination with serum-containing media, cause cells to flatten, proliferate and de-differentiate.
  • How will non-tumorigenic cells/tissues grow or differentiate when implanted in vivo in Cultrex® BME?
  • Non-transformed cells mixed with Cultrex® BME and implanted in vivo have been found to continue to survive and remain differentiated but generally do not grow. No normal tissues have been found to transform under these conditions. For example, Sertoli cells survive at least a week and retain their cord-like structures. We again encourage investigators to try different cell types and let us know their results.
  • What is the difference between Cultrex® BME and Cultrex® 3D Culture Matrix?
  • Cultrex® 3D Culture Matrix was developed to provide the most standardized basement membrane extract for use in 3-D Cultures. A special process is employed to reduce growth factors and provide material at a standard concentration of approximately 14 mg/mL. This material is then incorporated in a 3-D culture to validate efficacy. 3-D Culture Basement Membrane Extract promotes differentiation of a human epithelial cell line derived from mammary gland (MCF-10A) and human prostate (PC-3) into acinar structures. The Cultrex® 3D Culture Matrix is essentially the same as our standard Cultrex® BME, but has been additionally qualified with the functional 3D assay as described above.
  • What kinds of tumor cells/biopsy specimens grow in vivo?
  • Many cell lines and tumor biopsy specimens (usually cut into small fragments) have been found to grow in vivo when implanted with Cultrex® BME. These include melanoma, intestinal, prostate, breast, lung, renal, and liver cancers as well as the 3T3 mouse embryonic fibroblast cell line.
  • Which basement membrane protein is best for studying invasion?
  • Choice of matrix should correspond to the environment that you wish to recapitulate. Basement membrane extract (BME) will recapitulate the basal lamina, which underlie most cells of epithelial or endothelial origin. Collagen I is the major constituent of connective tissue, and it is commonly inhabited by stationary cells, such as fibrocytes, adipose cells, and migrating cells, such as mast cells, macrophages, monocytes, lymphocytes, plasma cells, and eosinophils.