Cell Lines

Immortal cell lines are used to simulate the physiological – molecular and/or systemic reaction of a whole organism. They offer many advantages such as cost effectiveness, are easy to handle, provide neverending material when cared for correctly and the main argument – giving up on animal experiments. Furthermore, cell lines form a clean population of the wanted cell type and provide consistent and reproducible results.

The area of application are very broad such as in vaccine production, drug screening, cytoxicity tests, antibody development, gene function, tissue generation, protein expression and many more.2-3 Cell lines became a useful and valuable tool for researchers in all segments of science.

Nevertheless, bright light always casts a big shadow. Immortalized cell lines often show different reactions in contrast to a living model organism. This can result from genetic manipulation, serial passaging or the lack of a systemic microenvironment. Another disruptive factor is a mycoplasma contamination which often stays undetected or cross contamination with other cell lines who alter the results in unpredictable ways. Around 15-35% of all cell lines are estimated to be contaminated with mycoplasma. 5, 6


Hoelzel Diagnostika provides many products from known cell line suppliers such as Addexbio, Cell Biolabs, Dendritics, Genscript or ProSci. Take a look at our cell line section on our webpage.


1. Kaur, Gurvinder, and Jannette M. Dufour. "Cell lines: Valuable tools or useless artifacts." (2012): 1-5.

2. Gómez-Lechón MJ, Donato MT, Castell JV, Jover R. Human hepatocytes as a tool for studying toxicity and drug metabolism. Curr Drug Metab 2003; 4: 292-312; PMID:12871046; 1389200033489424

3. MacDonald C. Development of new cell lines for animal cell biotechnology. Crit Rev Biotechnol 1990; 10:155-78; PMID:2202521; 07388559009068265

4. Schurr MJ, Foster KN, Centanni JM, Comer AR, Wicks A, Gibson AL, et al. Phase I/II clinical evaluation of StrataGraft: a consistent, pathogen-free human skin substitute. J Trauma 2009; 66:866-73, discussion 873-4; PMID:19276766; 10.1097/TA.0b013e31819849d6

5. Fleckenstein E, Uphoff CC, Drexler HG. Effective treatment of mycoplasma contamination in cell lines with enrofloxacin (Baytril). Leukemia 1994; 8:1424- 34; PMID:7520103

6. Hay RJ, Macy ML, Chen TR. Mycoplasma infection of cultured cells. Nature 1989; 339:487-8; PMID: 2725683;