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Cell culture, also known as cell culture technology, refers to in-vitro culture of a single cell or a cell population. To be specific, in-vivo physiological environments are simulated in conditions of sterility, and appropriate nutrition, temperature and pH values, etc., so as to realize cell growth and reproduction as well as maintain certain structures and functions.
Cell culture technology can be extensively applied in various fields of fundamental research, virus detection, drug screening, and vaccine and protein drug production, etc.
Generally, a cell culture process includes preparation, culture, freezing and resuscitation. The key to this process is aseptic technique that is strictly followed to ensure cell culture is free of any contamination. In addition, nutrition, temperature, pH values and gas are all critical factors.
Cell culture consists of animal cell culture, plant cell culture and microbial cell culture. According to growth types, it can be divided into adherence and suspended cell culture. As for suspended cell culture featured with large space and extensive cell proliferation, it is suitable for large-scale culture. In line with cell reproduction characteristics, the cells are classified into primary cells and passage cells. While passage of the former goes through 2-3 generations, after which, they begin to degenerate, continuous passage culture is implemented for the latter. Furthermore, based on genetic characteristics, they are categorized into diploid cell strains and continuous cell lines. Regarding the continuous cell lines, they feature a high rate of reproduction, as well as long-term/unlimited passage and storage.
Except conventional prokaryotic and insect cell culture systems, there exists now a Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cell culture process. Synthetic proteins of CHO cells as mammalian cells are suitable for effective assembly, folding and galactosylated modification. They are more similar to natural proteins. For this reason, they play an important role in research and application of modern protein drugs. Particularly, recombinant monoclonal antibody drugs become a hot spot of bio-medicine development for the past few years. Considering that proteins synthesized by CHO are more like human proteins; after modification, they can be easily used for serum-free culture and suspension culture. In this case, both safety and production efficiency of protein drugs are significantly improved. The corresponding expression quantity reaches at least 10g/L, which is appropriate for recombinant monoclonal antibody protein expression. Therefore, the CHO culture process has great potential in application.
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