Primary Cells

Fluorescent image of human primary epithelial cells in culture

Primary cells are derived directly from living tissue and therefore more closely replicate the physiology of biological systems. They are increasingly useful in life science research, ADME/toxicity studies and pharmaceutical development, and in diverse applications where cell lines do not replicate the target biological system. We offer primary cells from PromoCell (available in select geographies) and from Cell Applications, Inc. (CAI).

Our manufacturers have refined the isolation, purification, subculture, and growth of over 100 primary cell types. Cells come with the promise of purity, low passage, rigorous characterization, and strict quality control. Harmonized media and reagents provide optimal performance, ensuring confidence in the utility of these cells and their supporting products in your application.

PromoCell human image


PromoCell products are available in North America, Canada, and select countries in Europe

  • Authenticated primary cells from dozens of human tissue sources, with media formulated for successful culture
  • Primary cell culture protocols, plus advanced media and reagents for 3D culture from patient cancers
  • Human primary cells are ethically collected with donor documentation, and validated for identity with definitive phenotypic markers

Primary human cells may provide biomedical researchers with more meaningful models of human health and disease, as their physiology more closely replicates that of the biological tissues from which they are extracted. Primary cells are especially relevant for applications where immortalized cell lines have attributes that can confound results.

Our primary cell inventory includes cells and precisely-formulated media from industry-leading manufacturer PromoCell. This collection offers the broadest range of validated, ethically-sourced human primary and stem cells, plus human blood cells—along with culture media optimized for expert culture of these phenotypes.

Unique formulations for groundbreaking cancer studies include a xeno-free (XF) medium for cultivating cancer lines in 3D. The Primary Cancer Culture System is a complete solution for the selective culture of malignant cells extracted from primary tumors or patient xenografts. Renowned technical support for PromoCell® products starts here, with detailed protocols and application documents for successful use of these exceptional cells and reagents.


Cell Applications Inc.

Cell Applications Inc. has perfected the isolation, purification, subculture and growth of human and animal primary cells. Diverse primary cell options include cryopreserved formats, and cells prescreened for metabolic regulation markers and signaling pathways.

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Video: Introduction to Primary Cell Culture