Cell line validation testing

If contaminated cell lines are used in research, the data obtained may not be reproducible or dependable. Recently Nature and Science have published articles warning the research community about contamination, and the journals are considering a policy of refusing papers that use data derived from non-validated cell lines.

To give one example, the editorial policy the journal Cancer Research requires that the method of validation testing by the source cell bank is described in submitted papers if the cell lines were received within six months. If more than six months have passed since receipt of the cell line, retesting is required.

To respond to these needs, the Cell Engineering Division at RIKEN BRC has begun a cell line verification testing service for material which is supplied by, or is deposited in, BRC. Details are shown below.


● Cell lines supplied by RIKEN BRC (Note: A separate fee is required to obtain cell lines from BRC)

  1.  Cell line validation report
    When users require validation of cell lines for publication purposes, RIKEN BRC will issue a report (i.e., Validation Report (1) , Validation Report (3)). The report will give the date of supply and demonstrate that cell validation testing was conducted prior to shipment. This service is free of charge.   How to apply: Send an email to cellbank.brcriken.jp with a description of the cell line for which you require a validation report. Write “Validation testing service” in the subject line.
  2.  Validation re-testing at RIKEN BRC (Only for cell lines supplied by BRC)
    We will issue a report (i.e., Validation Report (2)), if the user requires revalidation testing of cell lines originally supplied to them by RIKEN BRC. The user will pay the necessary fees for the testing and drafting of the report. (See table below.)
Name of test Description Fee required (JPY)
Mycoplasma test Conditional culture medium* 19,000
Short tandem repeat polymorphism analysis test for human cell lines Cell DNA or cell pellet 18,000

*A cell line in a conditional culture medium must pass for at least three weeks in an antibiotic-free culture, and at least three days must have elapsed since passage or exchange of culture medium.

 Note: We cannot conduct validation testing on cell lines supplied by other cell banks since we are not able to conduct tests on cell lines supplied by other cell banks.

How to apply:

  •  Download the applicable test from the table above and send it to us as a pdf attachment to an email (cellbank.brcbrc.riken.jp), or by fax or ordinary mail.
  •  You will receive instructions from us by email or ordinary mail regarding the method of shipment and when to send your test specimen.◇After receipt and testing of the specimen, we will send you the test results and invoice. (It will take about three weeks to send you test results for the Mycoplasma test and about two weeks for the Short tandem repeat polymorphism analysis test.)

● Cell lines deposited in RIKEN BRC by individual researchers

Cell lines established by individual researchers and sent to RIKEN BRC “for use with limited conditions, or without conditions, for general distribution by RIKEN BRC to the research community,” will be tested free of charge for the researcher who established the cell line. After receipt and testing of the cell line, the result of test will be issued.

● Inquiries: cellbank.brcriken.jp

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