Chinese Hamster Ovary Cell Morphology

  • Authors: Patrick J. Cummings 1, Kristina M. Obom 2
    Affiliations: 1: Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore and Rockville, MD, 21218; 2: Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore and Rockville, Maryland, 21218
  • Citation: Patrick J. Cummings, Kristina M. Obom. 2007. Chinese hamster ovary cell morphology.
  • Publication Date : June 2007
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Figure 1 shows a subconfluent monolayer (~50% of plastic surface covered with cells) of Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells with typical morphology under low magnification using phase-contrast microscopy (10X objective). The white round refractile structures are dead CHO cells that have detached from the plastic surface.

Figure 2 shows a subconfluent monolayer of CHO cells under high magnification using phase-contrast microscopy (40X objective). Note the intracellular refractile organelles.


The phase-contrast microscopic images show the typical cellular morphology of CHO cells grown for 5 days in vitro in cell culture medium. The CHO cells were cultivated at 37oC under 5% CO2 in Ham's F-12 medium containing 5% fetal calf serum.


CHO cells are a continuous mammalian cell line used in industrial settings to express recombinant proteins for research and therapeutic applications.    

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