Animal cell culture is a biotechnological technique in which a favorable environment is created to grow animal cells artificially. The cells are typically derived from multicellular eukaryotes and such cells are referred to as primary cells. On the other hand, cells can also be put in the appropriate culture and the resulting cells are known as cell lines. Generally speaking, cell culture is a critical technique in cellular and molecular biology that uncovers different aspects of a living organism. But what makes animal cell cultures so significant? Here are ten reasons why animal cell cultures are important.
#1. Animal Cell Culture Is Essential for Understanding Diseases
Animal cell cultures are especially important for the diagnosis of various diseases and conditions. But first, it is essential to understand how these illnesses work. To do so, biologists obtain animal cells, grow them in a favorable environment, and investigate diseased cells. Cell cultures are crucial for providing a basis for the detection and identification of pathogens. Along with detecting different viruses, cell cultures enable scientists to learn more about how these viruses behave.
#2. Animal Cell Cultures Are Used for Checking How Cells and Tissues Respond to Treatment
When testing the effectiveness of treatment, scientists use the animal cell culture technique. In this way, they can get a better idea of how cells or tissues respond to medication or treatment therapies without risking the lives of living beings. Whether we are talking about novel medication or we are dealing with new viruses, the animal cell culture technique offers a way to get all the answers we need. This is why animal cell cultures make it easier for healthcare professionals to create effective treatment plans for specific patients.
#3. Animal Cell Cultures Can Be Used as Model Systems
A model organism or a model system is a non-human species that can be used for studying and understanding a broad range of biological phenomena. As using humans or other living beings for research purposes would be unethical, biologists use animal cell cultures as model systems instead. When using animal cells as model systems, scientists can explore different aspects of human cells, including diseased cells or those responding to certain medications.
#4. Animal Cell Cultures Allow Scientists to Create Vaccinations
The development of vaccines is not really about performing basic experiments or mixing a few ingredients. Rather, it is an extensive process that involves multiple steps of testing, screening, and evaluation. While clinical studies on humans are pretty much crucial, completing the preclinical phase is just as important. At this point, scientists use animal cell cultures to test the viability of the newly developed vaccination.
#5. Animal Cell Cultures Assist the Drug Research and Development Process
Similarly to the development of vaccinations, the process of creating new drugs or enhancing already-existing ones requires extensive research and testing. Obviously, scientists cannot just give new medication to patients. Instead, they use the animal cell culture technique to determine how the cells respond to a given drug. The resulting information allows scientists to develop new drugs or improve the ingredients or formulation of what we already have access to.
#6. Animal Cell Cultures Are Used in Genetic Engineering
Genetic engineering is a lab-based technology that allows scientists to change the makeup of DNA molecules. Oftentimes, genetic engineers use animal cell cultures and this is because it is hardly possible to put new genes into every single cell. The animal cell culture technique is also widely used for investigating novel genes and their impact on cells. As genetic engineering offers numerous applications, using animal cell cultures for genetic engineering purposes is of huge importance.
#7. Animal Cell Culture Techniques Are Involved in Cancer Research
Improving the understanding of cancer cell biology is critical and one of the ways to explore cancer cells is by using animal cell cultures. In fact, cancer cell lines are commonly used for cancer research purposes as they act as perfect model systems to study how cancer cells develop or respond to medication. Along with learning more about how cancer works, animal cell cultures provide information about the effectiveness of novel anticancer drugs.
#8. Animal Cell Cultures Are Used in Gene Therapy
Gene therapy is a medical technology that enables healthcare professionals to treat or prevent diseases without using drugs or surgery. Instead, they identify the underlying genetic problem and alter a given patient’s genetic makeup to treat the disorder. Oftentimes, scientists genetically modify animal cells, culture them, and give the patients these changed cells to treat various diseases.
#9. Animal Cell Cultures Are Important for Stem Cell Therapy Applications
Stem cell therapy is a medical application that involves the use of stem cells or their derivatives to repair diseased, dysfunctional, or damaged tissues. For that reason, the technique is commonly known as regenerative medicine. In addition, culturing animal cells is an important aspect of understanding how stem cell therapy works and enables professionals to take the application to the next level.
#10. Animal Cell Cultures Minimize the Need for Animal Testing
Apparently, it is hardly possible to develop new drugs and vaccinations without clinical trials. However, using humans or even animals for testing purposes is not quite ethical. The easiest way to solve the issue is by using animal cell cultures. Evidently, utilizing cell cultures minimizes the need for involving animals and living beings in medical trials.