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Oxygenation in cell culture: Critical parameters for reproducibility routinely go unreported

October 2018

We wanted to highlight an interesting research article just published, focusing on the importance of oxygen in mammalian cell culture. 

The availability of oxygen impacts cells in culture both metabolically and morphologically and yet is generally not taken into account other than among the specialist research community. 

Medium depth (effectively surface area to volume ratio), altitude, cell type and cell density can affect oxygenation in cultures nominally maintained under the same environmental conditions (see figure below).

The large majority of high-impact articles citing cell culture work are missing at least one key piece of information necessary to allow accurate experimental reproducibility of oxygen delivery. 

Steady-state oxygen mass transfer in cell culture media

Authors Abdullah Al-Ani et al. from the University of Calgary recommend that in order to promote reproducibility in the scientific literature, journal editors should ensure that all published manuscripts employing mammalian tissue culture specify the critical oxygenation parameters that are a requisite for reproducibility of cell culture conditions. 

The authors further propose that experimenters should routinely estimate oxygenation conditions in their culture systems and consider them in analyses. 

Here at Oxford Optronix we couldn’t agree more. In fact we offer the tools to both maintain cells in culture in a defined oxygen environment that automatically compensates for altitude and atmospheric pressure changes (HypoxyLab) and tools for the direct measurement of dissolved oxygen from media and cell cultures (OxyLite).


The full article is available here: 


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