Interesting Information

The pH value as a key factor

The pH value is considered as one of the key factors for successful cell cultivation. By neutralizing the pH value or controlling it according to the conditions, you provide the cultures with an ideal basis. But why do adherent cells depend on a stable pH value in order to be cultivated? Find out here.

The pH value in general

The pH value is derived from the Latin pondus Hydrogenii or potentio Hydrogenii and is thus an abbreviation for the weight and force of hydrogen. The pH value indicates how strong the acidic or alkaline effect on an aqueous solution is. The strength of a basic or acidic solution is determined with the aid of color indicators. In general, every cell process has a pH optimum to which it obeys. Similar to temperature deviations, fluctuations in the pH value can also have a negative effect on the functioning of the cell and even lead to complete dysfunction.

Cells are usually cultivated in a nutrient medium. A stable pH value of the nutrient medium is therefore a top priority for the successful growth of the cells. A pH value of 7.4 is optimal for the majority of mammalian cells. Transformed cells, on the other hand, prefer a pH of 7.0 to 7.4, whereas a higher pH of 7.4 to 7.7 provides a good growth environment for normal fibroblast cell lines. All these pH values are on the alkaline side of the spectrum. pH values below a value of 5 are classified as acidic.

To determine the pH of culture media, phenol red is often added to the cell culture as an indicator. The phenol red indicator colors the culture media red, if its pH is 7.4. With a more alkaline environment of 7.6 it will become pink and with a value of 7.8 purple. As the pH decreases, the initial red in the cell culture would gradually change from phenol red to yellow.

CO2 incubators stabilize the pH value

With a regulated CO2 concentration, the pH value of the culture media can be stabilized, creating an optimal basis for cell cultivation. Use a reliable CO2 incubator to store your cell cultures, for example a high-quality incubator from tritec®. Our incubators are GMP qualified and have an extended temperature range of 5 to 99.9 °C. Alternatively, order a climatic cabinet with CO2 fumigation or a cooling incubator with CO2 fumigation and thus opt for a device, that offers you ideal conditions for succesful cultivation.

There are also some factors to consider in the context of CO2 gassing of the cell cultures: Make sure that the pH is always in the ideal range. A control by means of a phenol red indicator must also be carried out during permanent CO2 fumigation. Usually, the open hydrogen carbonate buffer system is used in the culture medium. Its equilibrium is conditioned by the exchange between the air containing CO2 inside the incubator and the CO2 content in the culture medium. The buffer weight can be shifted by the CO2 partial pressure.

tritec® supports you with the success of your cell cultivation

Choose an incubator with CO2 fumigation out of the HVAC technology of tritec® and lay the foundation for a stable pH value and the success of your cell cultivation in the laboratory. Do you have any questions about our incubator, its functionality or other products such as neutralization systems and laboratory refrigerators? Please feel free to contact us – we are at your disposal with our know-how.