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Keith Porter's roller flasks for tissue culture, 1945

Courtesy of the Merrill W. Chase Historic Instrument Collection

“Porter began growing cells using the hanging drop procedure but found it too confining. It used so little medium that following changes in the cells was difficult, and the cells had a short life. As early as 1923, Carrel had addressed this problem by devising a sealable flask, now called the Carrel flask, in which pH could be adjusted and culture medium replaced. Ten years later, a roller-tube system of cultivation was developed by George Gey and Warren Lewis, in which rotating racks of stoppered test tubes permitted an easy way to add medium. Porter combined these techniques of growing cultures directly on the glass wall of the tubes and constantly bathing them in liquid media. He created what he called a “roller flask”, a long, narrow vessel with two parallel flat sides that was blown from a regular Pyrex test tube, and fit rows of them on rotating racks.” - Entering an Unseen World, p.59


Keith Porter, tissue culture, roller flasks, exhibit


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