Organ culture

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Organ culture is a development from tissue culture methods of research, the organ culture is able to accurately model functions of an organ in various states and conditions by the use of the actual in vitro organ itself.

Parts of an organ or a whole organ can be cultured in vitro. The main objective is to maintain the architecture of the tissue and direct it towards normal development. In this technique, it is essential that the tissue is never be disrupted or damaged. It thus requires careful handling. The media used for a growing organ culture are generally the same as those used for tissue culture. The techniques for organ culture can be classified into (i) those employing a solid medium and (ii) those employing liquid medium.


Methodology

Embryonic organ culture is an easier alternative to normal organ culture derived from adult animals. The following are three techniques employed for embryonic organ culture.

Plasma clot method

The following are general steps in organ culture on plasma clots.

  1. Prepare a plasma clot by mixing 15 drops of plasma with five drops of embryo extract in a watch glass.
  2. Place a watch glass on a pad of cotton wool in a petri dish; cotton wool is kept moist to prevent excessive evaporation from the dish.
  3. Place a small, carefully dissected piece of tissue on top of the plasma clots in watch glass.

The technique has now been modified, and a raft of lens paper or rayon net is used on which the tissue is placed. Transfer of the tissue can then be achieved by raft easily. Excessive fluid is removed and the net with the tissue placed again on the fresh pool of medium.Parts of an organ or a whole organ can be cultured in vitro. The main objective is to maintain the architecture of the tissue and direct it towards normal development. In this technique, it is essential that the tissue is never be disrupted or damaged. It thus requires careful handling. The media used for a growing organ culture are generally the same as those used for tissue culture. The techniques for organ culture can be classified into (i) those employing a solid medium and (ii) those employing liquid medium.

Agar gel method

Media solidified with agar are also used for organ culture and these media consist of 7 parts 1% agar in BSS, 3 parts chick embryo extract and 3 parts of horse serum. Defined media with or without serum are also used with agar. The medium with agar provides the mechanical support for organ culture. It does not liquefy. Embryonic organs generally grow well on agar, but adult organ culture will not survive on this medium.

The culture of adult organs or parts from adult animals is more difficult due to their greater requirement of oxygen. A variety of adult organs (e.g. the liver) have been cultured using special media with special apparatus (Towell’s II culture chamber). Since serum was found to be toxic, serum-free media were used, and the special apparatus permitted the use of 95% oxygen.

Limitations

  • Results from organ cultures are often not comparable to those from whole animals studies,

e.g. in studies on drug action, since the drug are metabolized in vivo but not in vitro

Current progress

In April 2006, scientists reported a successful trial of seven bladders grown in-vitro and given to humans.[1]

See also

References

  1. "Lab-grown bladder shows big promise", New Scientist, 2006, issue 2546, http://www.newscientist.com/channel/health/mg19025464.200-labgrown-bladder-shows-big-promise.html

External Links

Organ culture Techniques



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