AAT Bioquest

What criteria should be used to select the appropriate cell line for my experiments?

Posted March 20, 2023


Selecting the correct cell lines is crucial for getting reliable results in your experiments. There are four criteria to consider in order to select the right cell line for your experiments:

  1. Authenticity - Always buy authenticated cell lines from well-established and trusted biorepositories or cell banks to ensure that you’re using the correct cell culture. Getting culture from other labs increases the risk of getting cell lines that aren’t what you think they are. This will impact the results of your experiment. 
  1. Contamination - Contamination of cell lines with mycoplasma is one of the most common problems in cell culture labs. An infection can significantly alter the cell biology compromising the results of your experiment. Reputed cell sources always supply cell lines as verified mycoplasma-free. 
  1. Low passage - Over time cancer cell lines tend to drift genetically from their original tumors because of their inherent genetic instability. Maintaining stock cells at as low a passage as possible and restarting the cell culture with a fresh vial every 2 to 3 months can help prevent this phenomenon. 
  1. Cell biology - The right cell line will depend on the type of experiment you are conducting. For best results, you must make sure to choose a cell line that most closely exemplifies the disease you want to study.
Additional resources

Guidelines for the use of cell lines in biomedical research

Assay development services

Screen Quest™ CHO-Gqi Chimera Cell line