Articles published in In Vitro Cellular & Developmental Biology-Animal

In vitro-based cell culture techniques are now fundamental to research in cancer, cell physiology, gene therapy, and regenerative medicine. These and other disciplines are impacted by a breakdown in good cell culture practices [1]. Among the many concerns are the use of misidentified or cross contaminated cell lines, infection by adventitious agents, and altered growth/differentiation by poor medium or serum selection and/or improper cryopreservation techniques. All of these factors have led to the publication of an appreciable number of studies that are at best irreproducible and at worst completely useless [2].

With these concerns in mind, the American Type Culture Collection (ATCC) and the SIVB have collaborated to produce a series of eight manuscripts to address key aspects of Best Practices in Cell Culture (Table 1). The manuscripts are being published in In Vitro Cell and Developmental Biology-Animal. These will appear in the September through December 2017 issues. These papers have been authored by senior scientists with extensive experience in cell culture and are intended as a reference for those beginning research using cell culture as well as a guide to established laboratories and regulatory/granting agencies.

Table 1 Manuscript titles and authors

  1. Best Practices in Cell Culture: An Overview. J.M. Baust, G.C. Buehring, L. Campbell, E. Elmore, J.W. Harbell, R.W. Nims, P. Price, Y.A. Reid, and F. Simione
  2. Best Practices for Media Selection for Mammalian Cells. P. Price
  3. Best Practices for use and evaluation of animal serum as a component of cell culture medium. R.W. Nims and J.W. Harbell
  4. Best Practices for Naming, Receiving and Managing Cells in Culture. Y.A. Reid
  5. Best Practices for Authenticating Cell Lines. R.W. Nims and J.W. Harbell
  6. Best Practices for Detecting and Mitigating the Risk of Experiencing Cell Culture Contaminants. R.W. Nims and Y.A. Reid
  7. Best Practices for Cryopreserving, Thawing, Recovering and Assessing Cells. F. Simione, L. Campbell and J.W. Harbell
  8. Best Practices for Storing and Shipping Frozen Cells. F. Simione and T. Sharp


  1. Freedman, L.P., I.M. Cockburn, and T.S. Simcoe, The Economics of Reproducibility in Preclinical Research. PLOS Biology, 2015. 13(6): p. e1002165.
  2. Harris, R., Rigor Mortis; How Sloppy Science Creates Worthless Cures, Crushed Hopes, and Wastes Billion. 2017, New York: Basic Books.

Submitted by John W. Harbell
SIVB President Elect