Cytocentric Blog

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Cytocentric Visionaries: Randy Yerden, CEO BioSpherix

Part Two: Physiologically-Relevant Cell-Based Assays to Reduce Wasteful Animal Testing

This post contains excerpts from an interview that Dr. Alicia Henn, Chief Scientific Officer of BioSpherix, conducted with Randy Yerden, Founder and CEO of BioSpherix.

In Part One, we talked about how the Cytocentric Principles were formed from decades of insight from top scientists about the needs of cells. Today we talk about how the total quality concepts in the Cytocentric Principles can improve cell-based assays for reduced animal testing.



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Cytocentric Visionaries: Randy Yerden, CEO BioSpherix, Ltd.

Part One: Origin of the Cytocentric Principles

Randy Yerden is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of BioSpherix, Ltd. He created the Cytocentric Principles as a way to describe the fundamental biologic factors that drive the development of all of the products at BioSpherix. Here Chief Scientific Officer, Alicia Henn interviews Randy about how the Cytocentric Principles were formed. This is Part One of a multi-part series.


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Reproducibility and Variability in Critical Cell Culture Parameters - Temperature

Keep the cells in log-phase growth for batch after batch. Rinse and repeat. The cells should be the same every time you need them. Seems like a simple thing, right? 

But it never is that easy to get consistent cell growth. That’s why we spend so much time and money checking the cells. Do they still express the right markers? Before researchers even get to the biologically question at hand, a lot of space in scientific reports is dedicated to the simple question; “Are the cells being used the type of cell that they are supposed to be?”

Here at the Cytocentric blog, we take the cell’s point of view. So what is really important to the cells in your care for consistent phenotype and function? Beyond cell density and viability, historically measurable parameters that have been used as indicators of cell culture health include: temperature, pH, osmolarity, lactate, carbon dioxide, and oxygen levels. Tests for contaminants such as mycoplasma, cross-contaminating cell types, and functional tests are also increasingly important for the monitoring of cell culture status. The more valuable the cells, the more important are all of these measures of culture integrity. Today we start with temperature. We will address other parameters in subsequent posts.


What Can I Do To Get the Best Results from the Non-Physiologic Cell Handling Conditions of a Room Air BSC?


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We posted previously about how the Biology of HIF Proteins Impacts the Outcome of Your Experiments. Of course, full-time control of cell handling conditions including oxygen, CO2, and temperature is the in vivo condition and this is best in vitro as well. Changes in HIF protein levels have been found within minutes of oxygen changes [1]. It can take up to 16 hours for cell culture to return to low oxygen levels in the incubator[2]. Cells Need Optimization and the longer the cells are out of optimal conditions, the more likely they are to be affected by those conditions. Adapting to Cytocentric cell culture techniques means that routine passaging of your cells is not business as usual.


"Should We Call Physiologic Oxygen Hypoxia, Normoxia, Physioxia, or Something Else?"

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How we describe oxygen in the microenvironment is important.

The use of physiologically relevant oxygen for in vitro cell culture is increasingly essential as cells grown in vitro become more clinically important. Oxygen levels are a critical cell parameter, just like carbon dioxide or temperature. Hyperoxia simply means too much oxygen, Normoxia means normal amounts, and Hypoxia means too little.

The term “Hypoxia” is used in two different frames of reference.

In the scientific literature, hypoxia is often used to describe physiologic oxygen levels that are lower than room air. Other researchers use same term for low oxygen conditions such as ischemia that are pathophysiologic. In these conditions, oxygen levels are too low for that particular tissue type in situ.