AAT Bioquest

What are the differences between organ cultures and cell cultures?

Posted February 1, 2022


Organ culture and cell culture are two types of processes used to grow cells of multicellular organisms artificially, outside of their natural environment

Basis of comparisonOrgan cultureCell culture


Is the culture of isolate organs under laboratory conditions, generally in vitroIs the process by which cells are grown under controlled conditions, generally in vitro

Types of cells used

Parts of an organ or a whole organ is cultured in vitroCells of multicellular eukaryotes

Used primarily to

  • Study of  function, differentiation, and morphogenesis in excised organs or presumptive organs
  • Maintain structural organization in tissues that are subjected to experimentally diverse environments such as drugs, hormones, or radiation

Used primarily to:

  • Produce biological compounds
  • Study basic cell biology and biochemistry, interaction between cell and disease causing agents, and effect of drugs
  • Determine the basic difference between healthy and cancer cells
  • Detect and isolate viruses and study their growth and development cycle
  • Produce vaccines and genetically engineered proteins
Additional resources

Human Organ Culture: Updating the Approach to Bridge the Gap from In Vitro to In Vivo in Inflammation, Cancer, and Stem Cell Biology

HHBS [Hanks' Buffer with 20 mM Hepes]