Working with cell cultures seems to be pretty easy -at least most times- and is done routinely in many in vitro labs. However, an article by Monya Baker (Reproducibility: Respect your cells!) points out many pitfalls when working with cell cultures and really addresses that the devil can be in the detail. Most scientists will most likely agree that the “growth serum” supplemented to the cell culture medium is a huge source for variations and proper characterisation of each batch is needed to be able to judge its effect on the cell line of interest. But, who thinks of cell line authentication? Of the effect of light on the cell culture medium? Of an influence of the level of medium above the cell culture during different stages of the experiment? …?
There are so many different aspects that can influence the outcome of an experiment and just being aware of them is already one important step forward to increase reproducibility of cell culture experiments. LINK