Cell culture questions

Elizabeth A. Droke drok0001 at tc.umn.edu
Tue Dec 5 20:34:02 EST 1995


Phenol red is a pH indicator. As the pH decreases, it turns from red to 
orangish-red, orangish-yellow to yellow (indicates a very low pH - not 
good for your cells). By watching the color change, it can give you an 
indication of the metabolism of your cells (i.e., waste product such as 
lactic acid will decrease pH). If you change media one day and it is 
yellow within 24 h it can be a good indicator that there is a bacterial 
contamination in your culture. If you make your media from dry powder, 
the color of the endproduct can indicate if you left something out - if 
need to add sodium bicarbonate the solution will probably be yellow 
before the addition and red after (increased the pH).

The heat inactivation is related to immune components of the serum. What 
type you use is dependent on the type of cell you are culturing and the 
purpose of the cell culture


Sigma catalog - cell culture section has a section on technical 
information  also has several books which are good. If you are culturing 
animal cells (including human) I would recommend Culture of Animal Cells 
by Freshney.

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