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Cell Line Service

First raised in the late 1950s and early 1960s, misidentification and cross-contamination of mammalian cell cultures used in research can have far-reaching implications, including invalidation of published data and lost time, money and effort. Incidence of research papers flawed by the use of misidentified and cross-contaminated cell cultures is estimated to be approximately 15-20%.

Short tandem repeats (STR) loci consist of short, repetitive sequence elements 3–7 base pairs in length. These repeats are well distributed throughout the human genome and are a rich source of highly polymorphic markers, which can be detected using the polymerase chain reaction. Alleles of STR loci are differentiated by the number of copies of the repeat sequence contained within the amplified region and are distinguished from one another using fluorescence detection, following electrophoretic separation.

Molecular profiling by STR or microsatellite markers is a fast, affordable and highly discriminating method to authenticate a cell line. With the Promega PowerPlex® 16 HS System PCR Amplification Kit, the Centre uses STR profiling for identification of human cell lines. The PowerPlex kit amplifies 15 loci and Amelogenin in a single tube and provides loci consistent with major world-wide STR databasing standards.


This service is currently for HUMAN Cell Lines ONLY

Sample submission

All samples are submitted using our online service link ARIN
Submit 10 µl DNA for each sample at a concentration of 50 to 100 ng/µl
Samples can be delivered in person to the laboratory, sent by courier or mailed
Please use padded envelopes when posting samples to prevent sample damage
Label tubes with sample name (<10 characters) and client name


A cell line identification report is available within 5 working days of receipt of samples and is emailed. It contains an electropherogram showing graphical representation of each allele peak and call. Allele calls for the multiple loci and Amelogenin are tabulated with corresponding database matches.

Database of cross-contaminated or misidentified cell lines

This database lists cell lines that are currently known to be cross-contaminated or misidentified. The database was originally developed by Amanda Capes-Davis and Ian Freshney, and published in 2010. It is now curated by the International Cell Line Authentication Committee. More information

Cell Line Knowledge Base

The Cell Line Knowledge Base is a public data warehouse for searching cell line data extracted from both ATCC and HyperCLDB. More information