In biology, a substrate is the surface on which an organism (such as a plant, fungus, or animal) lives. A substrate can include biotic or abiotic materials and animals. For example, encrusting algae that lives on a rock (its substrate) can be itself a substrate for an animal that lives on top of the algae.
Requirements for animal cell and tissue culture are the same as described for plant cell, tissue and organ culture (In Vitro Culture Techniques: The Biotechnological Principles). Desirable requirements are (i) air conditioning of a room, (ii) hot room with temperature recorder, (iii) microscope room for carrying out microscopic work where different types of microscopes should be installed, (iv) dark room, (v) service room, (vi) sterilization room for sterilization of glassware and culture media, and (vii) preparation room for media preparation, etc. In addition the storage areas should be such where following should be kept properly : (i) liquids-ambient (4-20°C), (ii) glassware-shelving, (iii) plastics-shelving, (iv) small items-drawers, (v) specialized equipments-cupboard, slow turnover, (vi) chemicals-sidled containers.
There are many types of vertebrate cells that require support for their growth in vitro otherwise they will not grow properly. Such cells are called anchorage-dependent cells. Therefore, many substrates which may be adhesive (e.g. plastic, glass, palladium, metallic surfaces, etc.) or non-adhesive (e.g. agar, agarose, etc.) types may be used as discussed below: