Inexplicable death of insect Sf9 cells in tissue culture

Jackie Newbold jacky.newbold at
Tue Jan 17 06:53:24 EST 1995

  We are experiencing problems with our Sf9 cells, used for baculovirus work,
which after growing well for some passages suddenly stop growing and then
disintegrate 3-4 days later. There is no obvious signs of contamination and the
Gibco TC-100 media used contains fungizone (Amphotericin B), which I believe,
is effective against most mycoplasma. Sick cells treated with Mycoplasma
Removing Agent (MRA) also fail to respond. We have tried Sf9 cells from 2
different sources and this disintegration occurs at varying times after thawing
fresh cell stocks. Could it possibly be some form of chemical contamination or
depletion of an essential growth factor? The cells live longer in flat flasks
compared with spinner flasks but this disintegration does eventually occur
reducing the likelihood of poorly washed spinner flasks causing this problem. 
Any help with this matter would be much appreciated.

The Babraham Institute, Cambridge.

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