Why do cell cultures (sometimes) foam

Tracy Aquilla aquilla at salus.med.uvm.edu
Fri Jun 24 16:43:22 EST 1994

In Article <2uei48$kjh at sun4.bham.ac.uk>, altabios at bham.ac.uk (John E. Fox)
>In article <YMH4375-230694152329 at mac2wild2.tamu.edu>, YMH4375 at zeus.tamu.edu
(Yasha Hartberg) says:
>>Several people in our lab have recently been distressed to find that some
>>of their liquid cell cultures foam and some do not.  There doesn't seem to
>>be any consistant reason we can find for this phenomenon.  With one of our
>>cell lines, two identical liquid cultures can be inoculated from the same
>>colony and grown for the same length of time under the same conditions and
>>one culture will foam and another will not.  As far as we can tell, time of
>>growth, speed of shaking, and composition of media do not seem to matter.
>>My question then is simply why do cell cultures foam in the first place and
>>why can two seemingly identical cultures show two different phenotypes?
>>Thanks in advance for any light you can shed on this topic for us.
>>Yasha Hartberg
>>Texas A&M University
>I suspect it is due to extra cellular proteins and peptides.
>All our synthetic peptides foam in aqueous solution.

It may also be due to the various amounts of gasses being produced during
growth of the cultures.
Tracy Aquilla, Post-doctoral Research Associate
Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics
University of Vermont, College of Medicine
aquilla at salus.med.uvm.edu

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