Training course: Cell culture bioassays - Inhouse training

Bioassays are complex as they are influenced by to whole variety of factors.

Optimal and reproducible results may depend on the culture conditions of the stock culture or the assay culture. They are influenced by counting errors and pipetting, the choice of media and cell culture plastic and the effect of these may vary with the choice of assays. Differences also arise  from variation introduced by the personnel or non-standardized technical parts of the protocols.


This usually 3 day training will help you  establish and optimize your cell culture bioassays faster and  avoid common mistakes and set-backs. It is addressed to the personnel who already perform bioassays as well as to new group members. The hands-on parts are tailored to troubleshoot current protocols and  identify fields for optimization or validation.

Topics in the theoretical seminars

  • Quality: definition and understanding
  • Risk analysis as a basis for decisions
  • Bioassay Troubleshooting: define sources of variation and deviation
  • Cell cycle and cellular decisions
  • Cells. Choice, identity, contamination
  • Cell Banking
  • Plastic ware: surfaces, leachables, homogeneity, assay influence
  • Media: quality, storage, handling, pH, assay influence
  • FCS: necessity and batch variations, storage, assay influence
  • Incubator: consistency, cleaning, control
  • Pipettes: precision, choice, sheer forces
  • Routine methods: standardisation where and when
  • Establishing and optimizing a bioassay
  • Troubleshooting of bioassays
  • Discussion and interpretation of the results from the practical part

Topics in the practical training

  • Tips for cell microscopy
  • Performance of a Cristal Violet assay
  • Performance of a WST-8 assay (or MTT or Neutral Red if preferred)
  • Pipette test
  • Troubleshooting and feed-back during the lab sessions

These contents can be changed, shortened or supplemented according to your specific needs. Additional topics often requested are

  • Aseptic technique
  • Contamination (incl. Mycoplasma or viruses)
  • Transfection basics
  • GMP basics


2,5 to 3 days

Target Group

Technical and scientific staff members with cell culture experience and bioassay experience. If newcomers are to be trained, the course can be changed such that additional cell culture basics are included.

Dates and pricing

Please contact us for an offer tailored to your needs. All dates are set to suit your schedule. Usually a course can be performed as fast as 4-8 weeks after the initial contact. Depending on the level of your group, topics can also be added or removed to better fit the training necessities. Our contact details are found here.


Dr. Nicole Kühl studied Biology at the Technical University of Karlsruhe and the University of Bremen. In 1999 she completed her Ph.D. in cell and molecular biology studying the cell cycle and heat shock proteins. Dr. Kühl then began her post-doctorate work at the Academic Hospital Groningen in the Netherlands, where she specialized in research related to multiple sclerosis and worked with primary glial cells. In 2005, she continued her work as a PI at  Jacobs University Bremen, where she led a research group and lectured in biochemistry and cell biology. From 2008 to 2011, Dr. Kühl was the head of the PromoCell Academy where she  taught cell culture and quality management courses up to GMP level. Since 2012, she is a freelance trainer and consultant in the area of cell culture quality control and runs the cell culture web site Dr. Kühl is a member of the German DIN workgroup "Bioreactors for tissue engineering". Watch Dr. Kühl in a video from our MOOC. 

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