The superfused tissue slice system is an easy and efficient in vitro method for the study of metabolism from structures that have not been entirely disrupted. This system was designed for use with the rat brain slice but the same technique can be applied to other organs.
Many problems associated with incubation can be resolved using the continuous superfusion technique. While slices can be prepared and incubated in oxygenated solutions in a test tube, the superfusion technique continually delivers fresh oxygenated buffer to the slices.
There are definite advantages to this method for studies of tissue metabolism. Biological tissues contain receptors for compounds contained in, and often released by, the slices. The concentration of these ligands in the incubation medium can gradually increase over the course of the experiment if the medium is not replaced. This increase can result in the activation of auto-receptors that, in turn, would inhibit release of a particular ligand.
Slices might also face greater stress due to reduced oxygen delivery during the experiment.
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