Cell Culture Unit

Over the past few decades, the continuous culture of eukaryotic cells has become a mainstay technique in many different forms of biological, biochemical, and biomedical experimentation, and Bionand houses purpose-built facilities for this type of work.

The Cell Culture Unit in Bionand comprises several state-of-the-art, self-contained cell culture facilities with all equipment required for the growth, maintenance, and analysis of mammalian cells. These facilities include two independent rooms dedicated to the sterile handling of cells belonging to biohazard risk groups 1 and 2 (containment level 1). These rooms are equipped, respectively, with 8 and 4 laminar flow hoods and with 4 and 2 CO2 incubators. They also house phase-contrast, fluorescence, standard bright-field microscopes, water-baths and centrifuges, as well as appropriate bench and storage (4°C and -20°C) space.

Besides the areas described above, and to avoid the contamination of samples with pathogens, the Unit also comprises a quarantine room. This area, equipped with one laminar flow hood and one CO2 incubator, is dedicated to the temporary maintenance of any new incoming cells, until the presence of any possible pathogen (i.e. mycoplasm) in these samples is appropriately discarded.

The Cell Culture Unit in Bionand also encompasses a cryopreservation room equipped with three liquid nitrogen tanks that provide storage space form more than 12,000 frozen samples.

Flow Cytometry is a highly effective method for analyzing thousands cells or other particles in a matter of minutes. Flow cytometers detect the fluorescence, size and complexity of particles that pass through laser beams as a stream. In this way they can quickly generate statistically valid data by counting very large numbers of particles - something that would be extremely difficult with traditional microscopy approaches. Flow cytometers are very well established in hospitals for routine diagnosis and now widely used for different types of research application, from marine biology to stem cell research.

In Bionand, we count with both Flow cytmetry analyzer and sorter equipment to give technical support to the research groups.