What are the Characterization of Cell Lines?


Characterization of Cell Lines

A cell line is a related group of cells which have the capacity to grow and multiply in culture indefinitely. A growth curve can be established to analyse the growth characteristics of a specific cell line or cell type. It shows various growth phases of cultured animal cells. A growth curve shows the following phases:

1. Lag phase (i.e. time taken by the cells to establish in new environment after sub-cultures, its attachment and spread).


2. Log phase (i.e. exponential increase in cell number).

3. Plateau phase (in which growth rate slows or stops due to exhaustion of nutrient or confluence).

Effect of physicochemical factors (temperature, pH, nutrienfs, hormones, etc.) on increase in cell number (cell density) of specific cell types is frequently assessed.

By using a growth curve you can measure the doubling time of cell population, a lag time and saturation density. On the basis of doubling time of culture you can predict the cell concentration in future.


For the use of scientists various cell lines are maintained at different laboratories and institutions e.g. National Centre for Cell Science (NCCS), Pune (India). There are many advantages of using the established cell lines by the scientists.

For example, requirement of growth media by cell lines, their responses to selected reagents and growth characteristics are known. Checking the identity of any newly acquired cell line is necessary for species of origin, tissue of origin and maintenance of scientific properties of cells.

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