Cell cultures must be fed every few days with fresh growth medium, and that which they have already consumed must be disposed of.
This is the HeLa cell culture I created last week. The solution has changed from pink to yellow, as the cells have consumed the growth medium.
On the left is the growth medium, in the middle is PBS, and on the right is Tripsin.
I dumped the old medium into a beaker, then washed the plate with PBS and tripsin. Next, I detached the cells from the plate and added them to a new plate with fresh growth medium!
Throughout this process sanitation was paramount. I could only touch plates and lids from the side, and the wrapper of the pipette. Bacteria would contaminate the cell culture and solutions. Furthermore, the hood in which cell cultures are worked with are ventilated to prevent exposure to toxins, dust and bacteria.
Nonetheless, it is amazing to foster a life form so tiny in size yet exponentially impactful!
I would like to give a special thanks to Peggy Wang for mentoring me throughout this process and Dr. Allan Wolkoff for providing the opportunity to work in his lab!