Pigs Bladder Football

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This article was written on 21 Jul 2012, and is filled under 2012, Lab, News, time lapse.

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Time Lapse Imagery Results #2

Made another attempt at doing a 24 hour time lapse of the pig bladder muscle cells. This time I picked a flask which was more confluent (higher percentage of cells in flask) and I added a carbon dioxide controller into the system I’ve set up for simulating the lab incubator environment. See what you think:

This time the CO2 level was maintained at around 5% for much longer, but dropped off at the end when the canister ran out (you can see the medium turn pink as the pH level changes.) I still clearly have some problem solving to do but I think now that the problem is the type of gas being used (mixed gas 5% CO2 in air) because the controller has to emit a lot of gas to maintain the 5% if it drops. Below are some suggestions I have for optimizing this system further but I’d welcome any other ideas too!

  1. I think that using a pure CO2 canister (rather than mixed gas) would make this system work.  We avoided using pure CO2 previously because we didn’t think it would be necessary to regulate the gas (just add it to the container) and also due to concerns regards the safety of using pure CO2 (a potentially poisonous gas) in a confined space.  This wouldn’t be as big an issue now, since we are using a controller and sensor.
  2. Rather than using gas canisters, I could hook the system up to the laboratory gas supply (although there are a couple of challenges here including the above and also getting a long enough tube to run the gas in, and getting the tube past the sealed hot room door.)
  3. Another “out of the box” solution would be to simply put the microscope and camera inside the large, glass-fronted, incubator in the tissue culture lab.  I haven’t actually measured if this would fit (but suspect it would).  We did not do this previously because of concerns regarding the humidity of the environment having detrimental effects on equipment – but these issues have not been tested or ruled out.  I do however, prefer the idea now of a separate system which could be set up in other labs.

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