Upon completion of this module topic, you should:

  1. Understand the growth pattern for the cells you are working with and be able to use microscopy techniques to observe cell growth and morphology.
  2. Observe cell cultures regularly and keep record of cell growth and morphology.
  3. Be able to prepare cell feeding media and understand the role that the major reagents in the media play in supporting your cells.
  4. Be able to aspirate old feeding media from cell cultures, wash cells and feed cells with fresh media.
  5. Be able to measure the growth and viability of your cells using an inverted phase contrast microscope, the dye trypan blue to detect cell viability, and a hemacytometer chamber to count cells.
  6. Be able to subculture adherent cells using dissociation agents (trypsin) when they become semi-confluent (also referred to as passaging, harvesting, and splitting cells).
  7. Be able to appropriately thaw frozen cells and use specialized freezing media and cryopreservation vials to freeze cells.
  8. Be able to screen cells for contamination.


Dr. Rachel Boulay Assistant Professor & Director of Education
John A. Burns School of Medicine University of Hawai’i at Manoa
651 Ilalo Street | Biosciences Building 311f | Honolulu, HI 96813
rachel.boulay@gmail.com | Ph: (808) 692-0986 | Fax:(808) 692-1973