Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Primary Cells in Cell Culture

advantages and disadvantages of cell culture

· health,biotech

Primary cells reflect the in vivo tissue ecosystem in a fair manner and are extracted directly from tissues of the body for processing and cultivated in optimal conditions. Since these cells originate directly from body tissues and are not altered and replicate the in vivo condition and the physiology. This makes them an excellent model system for studying physiology as well as the biochemistry of cells, which includes research on metabolic processes, signaling as well as drug toxicity research. The most well-known primary cell models used in research include epithelial cells and fibroblasts, endothelial cells, keratinocytes melanocytes, and muscle cells, mesenchymal and hematopoietic stem cells. These types of cells initially are heterogeneous and are able to be kept for a short time in vitro. If primary cell cultures undergo a genetic change that allows them to divide for a long time and then become immortalized primary cell lines.

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Primary Cells vs Cell Lines Development

Continuous cell lines have the capacity to proliferate for an indefinite time They are usually more durable and easy to manipulate as opposed to primary cell lines. One of the major disadvantages of working with cell lines that are continuous is that they can be genetically altered and may alter the physiological properties in the event of prolonged passaging. A table of primary cells and cell lines is provided below to make it clearer.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Primary Cells

The advantages of Primary cells:

  • Overcomes ethical objections to the use of animals in biomedical research, and permits human tissue experiments.
  • Primary cells has more relevance to biomedical research than cells from other lines. Primary cells that have been screened can be an excellent method to examine biochemical signaling in vivo extremely closely.

Primary cells can reduce the expense of animal models, which consequently makes research cost-effective.

Primary cells have disadvantages:

Primary cells have a longer time to grow than cell line development and have limited growth potential. Even in the most optimal growth conditions Primary cells eventually die and senesce without continuing to grow.

  • The cells derived from different donors could respond differently to immune reactions (unless previously screened).
  • The expense of isolation of primary cells and culturing can be very high, and primary cell culture generally requires a lot of expertise in handling. The characteristics of primary cells can alter with each successive procedure if optimal cultivation conditions aren't maintained.

Although primary cells can be useful for biomedical research and can provide an incentive to ethical research methods, However, getting primary cells can be a problem. The availability of species-specific and tissue-specific primary cells is a major issue for many labs in India and that's why GenScript ProBio helps biomedical research companies. GenScript ProBio is the top-quality supplier of primary cells, custom-designed according to your lab's requirements. Check out our cell listings at and mail us your inquiries at