Science requires cell banking as part of its infrastructure to protect and sustain precious research data, making cell banking one of the unsung heroes behind many breakthroughs in biotechnology, biomanufacturing, genomics, preclinical studies, and bioassay development as well as various research industries. 

But why exactly is cell banking essential? Let’s delve into the world of cell banking, demystify its science, and understand how it acts as a safeguard for valuable research.

Understanding Cell Banking

Cell banking is the systematic and methodical preservation of cells for research and development purposes. It involves the collection, characterization, and storage of specific cell lines, ensuring their availability for future use. While this might sound straightforward, the process is highly intricate and involves stringent quality control measures to maintain the integrity of the stored cells.

The significance of cell banking becomes evident when we consider the delicate nature of cells. Cells are the building blocks of life and are integral to various scientific endeavors. Researchers rely on specific cell lines for experiments, drug development, and medical advancements. Without a reliable method for preserving these cells, the progress of scientific research would be hindered.

The Process of Cell Banking

The process of cell banking can be broken down into several key steps. First, researchers select a specific cell line that aligns with their research objectives. These cells could be derived from human or animal sources and are carefully chosen based on their characteristics and suitability for the intended experiments.

Once the chosen cell line is in hand, it undergoes meticulous cultivation and expansion in controlled laboratory conditions. This step is crucial to ensure the purity and viability of the cells. Any contamination or genetic drift can compromise the reliability of the cell line, making quality control essential.

After the cells reach the desired state, they enter the preservation phase. Cryopreservation techniques, often involving liquid nitrogen, are employed to freeze the cells. This freezing process places the cells in a state of suspended animation, preventing cellular activity and degradation. These frozen cells can remain viable for years, allowing researchers to access them whenever needed.

Safeguarding Valuable Research

The primary purpose of cell banking is to safeguard valuable research data and resources. Imagine conducting years of research and experiments, only to lose access to the critical cell lines needed to continue your work. This is where cell banking comes to the rescue. By storing cells in a controlled environment, researchers can ensure the continuity of their studies, even in the face of unforeseen events such as equipment failures, natural disasters, or contamination.

One remarkable aspect of cell banking is its role in collaborative research and the study of rare diseases. Cell Culture Company, for instance, acts as a repository for researchers, storing and shipping cell vials to facilitate research on rare diseases and other collaborative efforts. This demonstrates the broader impact of cell banking beyond individual laboratories.

Types of Cell Banks

There are different types of cell banks, each serving a unique purpose:

  • Master Cell Banking: This is the primary source of cells used to create working cell banks. It serves as a reference point and undergoes rigorous quality control checks.
  • Research Use Only (RUO)/Working Cell Bank: These banks are created from the master cell bank and are used for ongoing experiments and research.
  • Banks of 5-300 Vials per Lot: Cells are stored in vials, and these vials can vary in quantity depending on research needs.

Disaster Recovery and Secondary Storage

As is commonly stated: don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Likewise, researchers understand the necessity of having an alternative plan should something go wrong in their research studies. Cell Culture Company not only stores cell banks created in-house but also offers disaster recovery storage for important cell lines, including primary cells. This secondary storage ensures that research can continue even in the face of unexpected disruptions.


The science of cell banking is an unsung hero that ensures the safety and continuity of valuable research. It’s not just about preserving cells; it’s about preserving the future of scientific discoveries. Whether it’s safeguarding against unforeseen events or facilitating collaborative research on rare diseases, cell banking’s impact is undeniable. Cell banking ensures that researchers have a reliable source of cells to advance their work, contributing to the development of new medicines, therapies, and scientific knowledge.