Culture conditions vary widely for each cell type, but the artificial environment in which the cells are cultured invariably consists of a suitable vessel containing a substrate or medium that supplies the essential nutrients (amino acids, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals), growth factors, hormones, and gases (O2, CO2), and regulates the physicochemical environment (pH, osmotic pressure, temperature).
Morphology Most mammalian cells in culture can be divided in to three basic categories based on theirmorphology (Fig. 2)
1) Fibroblastic (or fibroblast-like) cells are bipolar or multipolar and have elongated shapes. They grow attached to a substrate.
2) Epithelial-like cells are polygonal in shape with more regular dimensions, and grow attached to a substrate in discrete patches.
3) Lymphoblast-like cells are spherical in shape and they are usually grown in suspension without attaching to a surface.
In addition to the basic categories listed above, certain cells display morphological characteristics specific to their specialized role in host.