Choose from common antibacterial powders for cell culture experiments

Additional Antibiotics.

Why use antibiotics in cell culture?
Antibiotics in Cell Culture

Antibiotics are secondary metabolites secreted by certain strains of fungi and bacteria. In cell culture most of them are used to keep biological contamination at bay. Common biological contaminations encountered are due to bacteria, fungi and mycoplasma. Less frequent contaminations are due to virus, chemicals and cross contamination with other types of cells. While judicious use of antibiotics to control contamination is advised, they should not be viewed as replacements to good aseptic practices during cell culture. Our high quality selection antibiotics ensure strict vetting of suitable cells and ensure establishment of mutant cell lines with uniform population of cells.

Controlling contaminants

The difficulty in controlling a particular contaminant is often related to its ease of detection. Most bacterial and fungal contaminations will cause the medium to turn cloudy and quickly kill the cells in culture. Although losing cells and any data relating to the current experiment is never desirable, the damage, however severe, is limited. Comparatively, viruses are difficult to detect. They cannot be detected by conventional light microscopy and may not be detectable by electron microscopy if they are integrated in the host cell genome. However, viruses have stringent requirements for the type of cells they can infect and, as they often result in the death of the cell lines they infect, are self limiting and are much rarer than other types of contamination. The two most worrisome contaminants researchers face today are mycoplasma and cross-contamination and/or misidentification of cell lines.

Common sources of cell culture contamination
Misidentification of cell lines

Mycoplasma contamination

Mycoplasma are very simple bacteria that do not possess cell walls. As such, they are not killed by typical antibiotics used in cell culture, and are not detectable by
conventional light microscopy. In addition, they can grow to very high concentrations in cell culture without causing the media to become cloudy as is seen with other
microorganisms. Since mycoplasma have evolved as parasites they are difficult to culture in the absence of mammalian cells. They do not usually kill the mammalian
cells they contaminate, but can greatly influence the cells they infect by altering cellular metabolism, causing chromosomal aberrations, slowing cell growth, and
interfering with cell attachment. n short, they are likely to influence the results of most experiments performed using affected cell lines. Contaminations can be undetected for long periods of time, and if left unchecked they can conntaminate an entire operation or facility.

Combining Antibiotics

Care should be exercised when using two or more antibiotics in the same culture system. Combined antibiotics frequently exert cytotoxic effects at lower concentrations than those indicated as appropriate for the individual antibiotics. Refer to a comprehensive pharmacology guide and literature provided on specific antibiotic product detail pages for more information on antibiotic incompatibilities, as well as other properties of antibiotics.

We offer a wide variety of antibiotics and antibiotic solutions for all your research needs.
Use the antibiotic selector tool to find the right antibiotics for your cells.