Induced pluripotent stem cell image taken with the CytoSMART™ Lux 10X System

The use of hypoxic, i.e. low oxygen, culture conditions for cell cultures finds more and more interest in research as a means to mimic the in vivo situation more closely. Whereas physiological in vivo oxygen concentrations can range from 1% to13%, most cell cultures are maintained at ambient 21% O2. However, the value of O2 control in addition to CO2 and temperature control has shown to e.g. heavily influence gene expression profiles and phenotypic changes. Hence hypoxic culture is increasingly applied in stem cell culture and cancer research as well as in toxicological studies.


While hypoxic conditions can easily be established using specialized incubators, the monitoring of cell cultures under hypoxic conditions has been extremely restricted until now. An online-monitoring system that allows direct monitoring of the cell culture in the incubator would be the preferred option, which so far however, was not readily available to researchers. The CytoSMART™ System overcomes this issue in that it allows continuous online monitoring of your cell culture under hypoxic culture. With its small size (133 x 90 x 100 mm), the CytoSMART™ Device fits into virtually any specialized incubator. What is more, as the cell culture can be viewed via the CytoSMART™ Cloud Solution, the monitoring of hypoxic cultures becomes completely independent of the presence of the researcher in the lab.


Hypoxic Culture in Cancer research

Low O2 concentration, or hypoxia, often occurs in the center of solid tumors where the presence and formation of blood vessels is often abnormal or limited. Hence low oxygen conditions play a key role in regulating cancer cell metabolism and the deeper understanding of this correlation may advance our understanding of cancer formation and the development of potential new therapies.


Application example of hypoxic cultures in cancer research:

Reaction of normoxic vs. hypoxic colorectal cancer cell lines against the cancer drug AW464 (NSC 706704; a novel benzothiazole substituted quinol compound) showed that hypoxic cells are more resistant to the drug. Comparisons to normal cells such as endothelial cells or fibroblasts  (both from Lonza) revealed drug potency against endothelial cells but not fibroblasts, suggesting possible anti-angiogenic activity.


Hypoxic Culture in Stem Cell Research  

Hypoxic culture conditions are generally thought to enhance the generation of iPSC. Furthermore hypoxic culture conditions are frequently used in mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) culture, in particular for MSC proliferation and expansion.


Enhance the quality of your research now by applying hypoxic culture conditions. With the CytoSMART™ System your hypoxic culture is always only one click away. Don’t hesitate and request a quote for your personal CytoSMART™ System.



Mukherjee A, Westwell AD, Bradshaw TD, Stevens MFG, Carmichael J, Martin SG. Cytotoxic and antianhiogenic activity of AW464 (NSC 706704), a novel thioredoxin inhibitor: an in vitro study.


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