Living cells are excellent experimental models for what happens inside the human body. Cells from human blood samples offer a readily accessible source of multiple types of cells to study specific mechanisms of action for natural products.
Results from cell cultures serve as a foundation for building a science-based product portfolio, and can help plan study designs for clinical trials on novel products, extracts, and blends.
Examples of cell cultures for natural products research
- Testing of cells in bio-assays to examine direct effects of natural products
- Testing of cells from clinical samples to study responses to specific stimuli, before and after the subject consumed a natural product
- Isolated cell types for in-depth study of specific cellular processes (example: phagocytes, natural killer cells from blood samples)
- Mixed cultures to allow cross-talk between cells similar to that in the body (example: whole blood)
- Study of specific cell types (such as cancer cells)
Results from cell cultures may take the form of microscopy images of cellular behavior, flow cytometry data on expression of activation markers, intracellular cytokines, mitochondrial function, free radical production, and cell viability/death. Results may also include testing of secreted cellular products such as cytokines, matrix proteins, and enzymes.