Many cell biology techniques have been developed over the years, with their success dependent on factors such as the key ingredients of the culture medium, type of transfection reagents used, the type of cell line used, genetic expression to be studied, the number of passages a cell line has gone through, purity of oligonucleotides (siRNA, miRNA and DNA), and contamination.
If researchers did not have to worry about extraneous factors they could place more focus on the core aspect of their experiments. To aid and guide researchers around these obstacles are many organizations involved in manufacturing products and offering services for life science research.
Life Science Services
As the name indicates, the objective of life science service companies is to assist scientists in the general improvement in the quality of life, drug discovery and developing novel therapeutic strategies. Some commonly offered custom life science services are mentioned below.
This often-used cell biology technique helps life scientists understand the function and structure of cells and its components. The understanding of basic cellular pathways will help determine revolutionary treatment strategies. In addition to providing protein expression services, some companies offer purification of the protein of interest. Other services include protein tagging for easy isolation and identification.
Presently, gene silencing is a powerful tool among biology researchers. This technique helps determine the exact involvement of a silenced gene and provides hope for future RNAi therapeutics. Typical RNAi services include oligonucleotide design and synthesis, RNAi delivery agents, purification of the genetic material, cloning, use of an appropriate transfection reagent, construction of necessary vectors or dsRNA targeting a gene of interest, and optimization of the transfection system.
Companies such as IDT offer contract production of quality nucleotides which may then be used for a variety of purposes, including transfection for altering gene expression and/or gene silencing.
Histological services include tissue fixation, immunostaining, tissue sectioning and interpretation of immunostaining and resultant images. There are many products and services commercially available.
Cell Line Derived Xenografts (CDX)
Xenografting involves the transplantation of tissue from one species into a different species. The most popular type of xenograft is the transplanting (also known as xenotransplantation) of human tumor tissue (either cancer cell line derived, known as CDX, or patient-derived, known as patient-derived xenografting or PDX) into immunocompromised mice. This method supplies a more precise model of tumor cells than simply relying on in vitro studies. Xenograft experiments are an extremely effective tool in oncology and other diseases, performing a vital task in the evaluation of novel cancer therapeutics as labs transition from initial lab studies to clinical implementation.