AAT Bioquest

What are the differences between primary and secondary cell cultures?

Posted December 16, 2020


The following table outlines the major differences between a primary and secondary cell culture:

Primary Cell CultureSecondary Cell Culture
Consists of cells directly taken from the host tissueConsists of sub-cultured or passaged cells from a primary culture
Heterogeneous cell populationHomogenous cell population
Cells have a finite lifespanProlongs the lifespan of cells
Cells closely resemble the host tissue and its normal physiologyCells have adapted to the culture conditions and may have undergone mutations or genetic alterations during sub-culturing
Can serve as an in vivo model systemServes as an in vitro model system
Difficult to maintainEasier to maintain
High risk of contaminationLow risk of contamination
Additional resources

Isolating Cells and Growing Them in Culture

Resazurin, sodium salt *CAS 62758-13-8*

Cell Viability