Primary cell isolation is required for subsequent generation of primary cell cultures, which are useful in-vitro tools for pre-clinical disease research. Common applications of primary cell isolates include studies of cellular communication and illumination of disease mechanisms, including cancer, autoimmune diseases, and diabetes.
Primary cells from a biospecimen are typically heterogeneous, so basic cell isolation is used to dissociate and separate the various cell types from tissue specimens. Many researchers believe that primary cells best represent the tumor biology and heterogeneity encountered in the actual clinical environment, and so are worthwhile and important in-vitro models.
When it comes to basic primary cell isolation, it's key to understand that there are a wide variety of parameters that can impact the outcome of any isolation procedure. These include the type of tissue, species origin, specimen age, genetic modification (i.e. knockouts), enzyme type and quality, and incubation time and temperature.