Cell line authentication services

NorthGene™ offer rapid and accurate DNA STR analysis services for cell line authentication. Using highly sensitive DNA testing for Short Tandem Repeats (STRs), our PCR and sequencing analysis allows for high level discrimination between cell sets, samples and cultures.

Please call us on 0191 233 1414 or email northgene@biofortuna.com to discuss your requirements, or to place an order please download the form by clicking the icon below. 

Why authenticate your cell lines?
Misidentification or poor characterisation of cell lines has plagued the scientific community for decades. The lack of knowledge of cell types leads to incorrect, non-reproducible results which can result in false information being generated. An increasing number of high profile journals and grant proposals now require proof of cell line identity before considering publication of research.

According to current research and best practice guidelines, cell line testing is recommended:

  • Before submitting a paper for review
  • Before beginning a new grant or major set of experiments
  • To prevent cross-contamination
  • If cells give erratic, and unreproducible results
  • If a change in morphology or growth characteristics are observed
  • When creating a new cell line
  • When receiving cells from a non-accredited laboratory or provider
  • When creating cell stocks for storage

For more information on the prevalence and impact of cell misidentification see the following references: American Type Culture Collection Standards Development Organization Workgroup ASN-0002. (2010). Cell line misidentification: the beginning of the end. Nature Reviews, Cancer. 10 (subscription required) Capes-Davis, A et al. (2010). Check your cultures! A list of cross-contaminated or misidentified cell lines. International Journal of Cancer. 127, 1–8

NorthGene Cell Line Authentication Service
  • DNA Analysis using Promega® Corporation’s PowerPlex Fusion system, containing 22 STR loci plus two gender defining markers.
  • Quick turnaround
  • Completely confidential
  • Simple sample collection process using Sample Collection Cards 
  • Electropherograms provided on request.
  • Reference profiling against public databases where required & full result interpretation.
Sample requirements

Our Cell Line Authentication service includes DNA extraction of cell cultures spotted onto our bespoke sample collection kits. We are also able to work with frozen cell pellets at a minimum yield of 2 x 105 cells.

We are also able to work with pre-extracted DNA samples of a minimum concentration of 10ng/µl in a total volume of 20µl. DNA samples must be free of any PCR inhibitors such as EDTA, proteins, polysaccharides or DMSO.

Please note, if frozen cell pellets or DNA eluates are to be sent in place of using our standard sample collection kits, cell samples must be clearly labelled and transported frozen, on dry ice. Please ensure samples arrive during office hours and not weekends or public holidays. Samples can be returned where requested, however charges will apply.

Detailed technical information


NorthGene™ offers analysis of 24 polymorphic STRs which allows cross identification of cell lines of HUMAN ORIGIN, with an extremely high power of discrimination. The loci which will be tested include the 17 markers contained within ICLAC recommended databases in compliance with ASN-0002-2022.

By analysing these markers, each sample can be matched and verified with a high degree of precision. The allelic data from samples can be compared against each other, a known reference or verified against cell line databases.

Any sample(s) which require repeat testing will be communicated to the sender as soon as possible, to prevent delay. In a small number of instances, it may not be possible to complete the analysis, most often due to poor DNA quality. All unsuccessful samples are retested once more. Charges for all tests will still apply where it is not possible to issue a result.