ISPE Glossary of Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology Terminology

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Trypsin, Tryptic Digestion

Trypsin allows the growth of cells as independent microorganisms distinct from tissue culture by causing cell disaggregation. Excised tissue is softened and treated with a proteolytic enzyme, normally trypsin, then washed and suspended in a growth medium to produce a primary culture. Subculturing from the primary culture usually involves treatment with antitrypsin (such as serum) to produce a secondary culture. Cell lines are established by repeated culture through cycles of growth, trypsinization, and subculture. Trypsin is also used to remove anchorage-dependent cells from their attached substratum.

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