Primary Cell Cultures and Immortal Cell Lines
Glyn Stacey, National Institute for Biological Standards and Control, Potters Bar, Herts, UK
Published online: January 2006
Primary cell cultures can be established from tissue explants or, more usually, from disaggregated tissue samples. Cells that
can be subcultured many times are called cell lines and examples have been isolated from diverse tissues and cell types. Continuous
cell lines of unlimited lifespan can be generated by means of a number of immortalization techniques, although in most cases
such cell lines have arisen spontaneously.
Keywords: primary cells; cell lines; immortalization; in vitro cell culture; standardization
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