Tissue culture is the growth of tissues or cells separate from the organism. This is typically facilitated via use of a liquid, semi-solid, or solid growth medium, such as broth or agar. Tissue culture commonly refers to the culture of animal cells and tissues, with the more specific term plant tissue culture being used for plants.
In 1885 Wilhelm Roux removed a section of the medullary plate of an embryonic chicken and maintained it in a warm saline solution for several days, establishing the basic principle of tissue culture. In 1907 the zoologist Ross Granville Harrison demonstrated the growth of frog embryonic cells that would give rise to nerve cells in a medium of clotted lymph. In 1913, E. Steinhardt, C. Israeli, and R. A. Lambert grew vaccinia virus in fragments of guinea pig corneal tissue. In 1996, the first use of regenerative tissue was used to replace a small distance of a urethra, which led to the understanding that the technique of obtaining samples of tissue, growing it outside the body without a scaffold, and reapplying it, can be used for only small distances of less than 1 cm. 
In modern usage, tissue culture generally refers to the growth of cells from a tissue from a multicellular organism in vitro. These cells may be cells isolated from a donor organism, primary cells, or an immortalised cell line. The cells are bathed in a culture medium, which contains essential nutrients and energy sources necessary for the cells' survival. The term tissue culture is often used interchangeably with cell culture
The literal meaning of tissue culture refers to the culturing of tissue pieces, i.e. explant culture.
Tissue culture is an important tool for the study of the biology of cells from multicellular organisms. It provides an in vitro model of the tissue in a well defined environment which can be easily manipulated and analysed.
- Steinhardt, E; Israeli, C; and Lambert, R.A. (1913) "Studies on the cultivation of the virus of vaccinia" J. Inf Dis. 13, 294–300
- TEDTalks. (2010, January 21). Anthony Atala on growing organs [video file]. Retrieved May 15, 2011 from (http://www.ted.com/talks/anthony_atala_growing_organs_ engineering_tissue.html).[dead link]
- Martin, Bernice M. "Routine Cell Culture." Tissue Culture Techniques: An Introduction. Boston: Birkhäuser, 1994. 29-30. Print.
- Reece, Jane B., Lisa A. Urry, Michael L. Cain, Steven A. Wasserman, Peter V. Minorsky, and Robert B. Jackson. "Angiosperm Reproduction and Biotechnology." Campbell Biology. 9th ed. San Francisco, CA: Benjamin Cummings, 2011. 860. Print.
- www.research.umbc.edu/~jwolf/method5.htm - how-to guide for biology students
- Plant Tissue Culture - way to "xerox" a plant
- CELOS - a division of CELOS (Center for Agricultural Research in Suriname)
- Cell Culture Basics - Introduction to cell culture, covering topics such as laboratory set-up, safety and aseptic technique including basic cell culture protocols and video training