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Cell culture question

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Hello researchers and scientists. I am new to cell culture. In the first picture, is it contamination or just cell debris? How to identify difference between the two? In the second picture, I want to ask how to determine cell confluency visually so from this image, what could be the %? Thank you.



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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi, One way to distinguish between contamination and debris is that you can wash your cells with buffer. It could eliminate the presence of debris. Other way include checking the colour change of the culture. The colour may appear different. if it's contamination. Contamination can look somewhat cloudy when observed under microscope.

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The object looks a bit of debris most likely. The cells look like a mixed culture of rods and cocci but morphology can be deceiving.  A Gram stain could help determine if it is a mixed culture unless that is what you want.

I don't know about confluency. I usually think of confluency as a surface phenomenon.

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Considering lack of details (e.g. magnification) and quality of images it is difficult to tell what we are looking at. Considering that they are asking about confluency the second image is likely an eukaryotic culture. However, the image quality is not great. If I do a visual assessment I would move the focus a bit to make sure that I can assess the density better. There are also simple tools (e.g. imageJ plugins) that can help you calculate it.

But we generally like folks to give their estimates so that we can see where their thinking is.

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