Worthington Tissue Dissociation Guide

Methods and Materials: Enzymatic Cell Harvesting

Most non-malignant cells growing in vitro move about and divide until they form a monolayer one cell thick completely covering the surfaces of the culture vessel. Movement and proliferation normally cease when confluence is reached. Harvesting cells for study, processing or subculture requires dissociation and detachment of the monolayer. Limited treatment of the cell layer with the enzyme trypsin is the method most frequently applied.

It was formerly thought that trypsin preparations simply hydrolyzed a proteinaceous adhesive bonding substance responsible for the tenacious attachment of cells to their substratum with the resultant detachment of the cells from the culture vessel. It is now felt that the mechanism of action of trypsin in cell harvesting is more complex. This section summarizes recent information on this subject.

Next: Cell Adhesion and Harvesting

Tissue Tables (references, grouped by tissue type and species)

Adipose/Fat Adrenal Bone Brain
Cartilage Colon Endothelial Epithelial
Eye Heart Intestine Kidney
Liver Lung Lymph nodes Mammary
Miscellaneous Muscle Neural Pancreas
Parotid Pituitary Prostate Reproductive
Scales Skin Spleen Stem
Thymus Thyroid/Parathyroid Tonsil Tumor

Note: We have not limited the references listed to only those papers using Worthington enzymes. Generally speaking, the tissue dissociation enzymes offered by Worthington can be used interchangeably for most preparations cited.