Animal cells need food and water and air with
oxygen in it. We don't know exactly what needs
to be in the food for animal cells, so usually
animal cells are grown in food that has some blood
serum in it. Blood serum is blood without any
red or white blood cells. Animal cells grown in
food without any blood serum grow only very
slowly. The blood serum is a complicated part
of the food, with lots of kinds of molecules
in it, different from vitamins and minerals and
purified proteins and such.
Also, animal cells need some way to get their
waste products away from them. When growing
animal cells in the lab, scientists usually take
away the liquid on the cells after it has too many
waste products and too little food, and they put
fresh liquid food on the cells every few days.
Animal cells in the lab are often grown in flat
dishes called Petri plates, and the cells stick to
Some animal cells grow in their liquid food
without sticking to the surface of the container.
In that case, they can be transferred to a bigger
container with fresh food when there are too many
waste products and too little food.
Here's the website for the article I read about
how we still can't grow animal cells very well
without blood serum:
animal and cell culture
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