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Object Record

Catalog Number 91.0001.005
Title Carrel Flask
Description Glass. Main body is a hollow flat disk with two tubular stems, slightly bent, across from each other. Long Stem. Marked on rubbed area with "TD-3, 10/14."
Object Name Flask, Carrel
Date 1930s-1940s
Collection Wilton Earle Collection
Accession number 91.0001.005
Caption Carrel Flask
Catalog date 2007-06-01
Catalog type History
Provenance Dr. Wilton Earle pioneered processes for growing cells in culture during the 1930-1950s to study how cells become cancerous. He developed a three-dimensional culture containing multi-layered cellophane sheets or glass helices for growing clones of a single cell. From "Dr. Earle, World Expert on Tissue Culture, Dies. Served NCI Since 1937," NIH Record, June 16, 1964, page 7: "Dr. Earle made many significant contributiions to the deveopment of tissue culture science and technology. His contributions were outstanding in improving tissue culture techniques and in advancing the purposes for which long-term, large-scale cell culture could be used in medical research, specifically in cancer research. He was a pioneer in demonstrating that carcinogenesis occurs in vitro."

Carrel flasks were developed by Alexis Carrel (1873-1944) in 1923. They enabled the growth of cell cultures in medium for weeks or even years. He trained Wilton Earle in these techniques. In a Carrel flask, a small piece of tissue would be embedded in a plasma clot. The cells migrate from the tissue and divide, forming a tissue culture. The optical qualities of the flask permitted improved photomicrography to document morphology and behavior.
Number of images 1
Updated 2012-09-07
Condition Very Good
Organizations NIH, NCI, Tissue Culture Section
Buildings Building 6
NIH Property # none
Old NIH Property # none
Serial # none
People Earle, Wilton Robinson
Sanford, Katherine H.