My Cell Culture – This is the core of the CultureTrax platform! Within My Cell Culture you can add, edit and access all of your Culture Tracks on a daily basis to record details of your experiments. (see Culture Track)
Culture Track – A Culture Track is a collection of one or more vessels or wells (vessels/wells) that contain the same cell line, at the same passage number, and are all undergoing the same experiment or Protocol Template. For example: A culture track could be 4 X Six-well plates, plus 3 X 10cm dishes, and a chamber slide all containing IMR-90p31 that you are differentiating using the ‘Protocol Template’, ‘Neural Differentiation’. (see ‘How to Add a Culture Track’ and ‘Protocol Template’)
Projects/Experiments – (Coming soon!) Projects/Experiments are a way to organize your Culture Tracks and build a team to share work within your lab.
Action Group – An Action Group is some or all of your vessels/wells within a Culture Track. Once you select vessels/wells to create an Action Group, you can apply an Action to it (like ‘Feed’). You can also ‘Move’ an Action Group to a new Culture Track to change protocol templates. You can create a single Action Group or multiple Action Groups to record your work. Commonly, you will choose the ‘Use All Available’ button to quickly create a Vessel Group and apply a ‘Feed’ action to all of the vessel/wells in your Culture Track. Any Action you add to your Action Group will apply to all of the vessels/wells in that Action Group. (see ‘Action’ definition and ‘Actions Table’)
Action – An Action is a specific cell culture technique or method (like ‘Feed’ or ‘Cryopreserve’) that you apply to all or a portion of vessels (Action Group) within your Culture Track. Current actions available in CultureTrax are:
Feed, Treat, Passage, Harvest, Assay, Thaw, Cryopreserve, Transfect, Pick to Remove, Terminate, No Action
Actions applied to Action Groups within CultureTrax will either ‘continue’ those vessels/wells to the next day or ‘terminate’ your vessels/wells. Some Actions also require you to add new ending vessels/wells in order to complete them. Therefore, it’s important to understand what will happen to your vessels/wells when you apply different types of Actions. For example, the Passage Action will ‘terminate’ the entire Action Group from the Culture Track and requires that you add new vessels/wells, resulting in a new/next Culture Track. To understand which Actions require new vessels and/or terminate the Action Group, reference the ‘Actions’ Table, below.
You can pre-define the materials and methods used for your Actions and give them custom names if you build a Protocol Template (Protocol Template - recommended). Alternately, you can run an ‘unstructured experiment’ and record the materials and methods associated with your Actions on a daily basis.
Protocol Template – A Protocol Template is a ‘protocol’ or ‘experiment’ that contains a collection of Actions you define for you or your lab. (such as Feed, Passage, and Cryopreserve) Once you create and apply a Protocol Template to your Culture Track, all of the materials and methods are made available for you to reference and record on a daily basis within My Cell Culture. You can usually build a Protocol Template from an existing protocol document. Protocol Templates can quickly be copied and edited to change methods, materials, or experimental variables and must have a unique name across your Lab and personal library. If you want to change Protocol Templates for all or a portion of your cells, you can select an Action Group within your Culture Track and ‘Move’ those vessel/wells to a new Culture Track where you select a new Protocol Template.
Materials – There are two kinds of materials within CultureTrax; Single Ingredient and Recipe materials. Single Ingredient materials can be added to CultureTrax manually or using the import tool and Recipe materials should be created manually after creating/importing Single Ingredients. A Single Ingredient material typically contains only one component and a Recipe Material contains more than one single ingredient and requires some preparation prior to usage. For example, DMEM/F12 is a Single Ingredient Material and hESC Medium would be a Recipe Material that contains DMEM/F12 as one of several ingredients. For entering material aliquots that typically require some dilution, (i.e., Y27632, Matrigel) we recommend you add the stock (concentrated or lyophilized) material as a Single Ingredient material (Ex. Matrigel (Stock)) and then add a Recipe Material (Ex. Matrigel (10mM Aliquots)) to indicate your procedure and location of aliquots.
Material Type – When you add a ‘Material Type’ classification to your Single Ingredient or Recipe Materials, you can then filter the material library by Material Type to more easily locate what you need. (For Example, ‘Complete Media’ or ‘Basal Media’
Batch Record – (Coming Soon!) A Batch Record can be created for both Single Ingredient and Recipe Materials to record and save specific lot numbers/Batch numbers, volumes, storage locations, storage temperatures and expiration dates related to those materials.
Daily Report – (Coming Soon!) A daily report will be available to save and print as a PDF all of the details you have entered into CultureTrax.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a CultureTrack?
A Culture Track is a collection of one or more vessels or wells (vessels/wells) that contain the same cell line, at the same passage number, undergoing the same experiment or Protocol Template.
For example: A culture track could be 4 X Six-well plates, plus 3 X 10cm dishes, and a chamber slide all containing IMR-90p31 that you are differentiating using the ‘Protocol Template’, ‘Neural Differentiation’. (see the glossary for other definitions of CultureTrax features)
How do I change protocol templates?
Protocol templates can first be selected when adding a new culture track or when starting a next culture track after a passage action by clicking on the new culture track name in the ending vessels section of the source culture track. There are two ways to change protocol templates:
1. ‘Move’ some or all of your culture tracks vessels to create a new culture track with a different protocol template. To change protocol templates, create the action group for the new protocol template. (This can be ‘all available vessels’ in a culture track or a portion of the Culture Track vessels) After creating your vessel group, select ‘Move These Vessels to a New Culture Track’. This will open a Culture Track properties screen where you can select a new protocol template.
2. To ‘edit’ or change protocol templates for a culture track, you need to remove all ‘action groups’ and ‘actions’ associated with that culture track. Once you are at the culture track start day, you can ‘edit’ the culture track by clicking it’s name and ‘Change Selected Protocol’. If you have several days of actions already recorded, you may want to move all of your vessels to a new culture track to change protocol templates (see #1 above).
Why don’t I see my culture track or some of my vessels on today’s cell culture list?
To move culture tracks and vessels/wells to the next day’s My Cell Culture, you need to apply an action to every well, ‘complete’ the action by selecting the checkbox, and similarly ‘complete’ the culture track for the day. If no action is required to maintain your culture, for example you skip feeding for one day, you still need to create an action group, select ‘no action’ and click ‘complete’ to carry your culture track forward to the next day. After you check a culture track 'complete' it will show up for the next day.
How do I fix mistakes I noticed in ‘My Cell Culture’ for the previous day?
You can always edit observations, materials or methods for a previous Culture Track. However, after action groups and actions are added to a Culture Track for the day, the previous day’s culture work becomes ‘locked’. In order to unlock and edit actions on a previous day’s Culture Track;
1. Delete any current actions for today (located on lower right of action details screen) and remove any current action groups.
2. Once all actions and action groups are deleted, you can uncheck ‘complete my Culture Track’ on the previous day and edit yesterday’s actions.