In vitro

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In vitro culture of grapevines
Axenic in vitro cultivation of Physcomitrella patens on agar plates ( Petri dish , 9 cm diameter)

In vitro ( Latin for 'in the glass') are organic processes that take place outside a living organism , in contrast to those that take place in the living organism ( in vivo ). In science, in vitro refers to experiments carried out in a controlled artificial environment outside of a living organism, such as in a test tube or petri dish .


In vitro studies

Biological and medical experiments can be controlled better in vitro than in vivo. For example, conditions can be influenced more easily and individually. The knowledge gained in this way cannot, however, simply be transferred to the processes in the living organism. For example, the binding of carbon monoxide to hemoglobin in vitro is 25,000 times stronger than that of oxygen. In vivo, however, this affinity is only 200 times higher. For this reason, results from in vitro studies are usually checked with a further series of tests in vivo.

Special applications

See also


  • Kurt Heininger: In-vitro and in-vivo studies on the selective immunoadsorption treatment of neurological diseases . Springer Verlag, Berlin 1993, ISBN 978-3-642-77093-7 .

Web links

Wiktionary: in vitro  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations