Difference between Primary Cell Culture and Cell Line

Primary Cell Culture

Primary cell culture is the first line of cells directly taken from the target organism. They are identical to the parent tissue. Here, the cells are obtained from the source through various enzymatic or mechanical methods, and are transferred to a cell culture medium. They usually have a lesser life span. Still, they act as excellent models for research purposes.

Also see Differences between plant and animal cell culture.

Cell Line

Cells taken from the primary cell culture are termed a cell line. The life span in primary cell culture is less. Hence, the cells are passaged into a new cell line. This cell line can be passaged further. Also, they proliferate further and increase the primary cell population.

Finite cell line

These cell lines can proliferate only a definite number of times. Also, the growth rate is slow.

Continuous cell line

These cell lines can proliferate indefinitely. Hence, they have also been termed immortalised cells. The growth rate is also faster compared to the finite cell line.

Difference between Primary Cell Culture and Cell Line

Primary Cell Culture

Cell Line

The cells are directly isolated from the parent tissue.

The cells are taken from the primary cell culture.

They have a lesser lifespan.

Their lifespan is better compared to the primary cell culture.

They cannot be passaged further.

These cells can be moved to indefinite cultures.

The significant characteristics of the parent tissue are available.

The significant characteristics of the parent tissue are lost.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the use of a cell line?

The major use of cell lines lies in research and development. Here, the cells proliferate indefinitely and act as an excellent biological model. They have a longer lifespan compared to primary cell culture. Thus, they can be easily marketed for research.

What are the similarities between cell lines and primary cell culture?

Both primary cells and cell lines can be obtained through mechanical and enzymatic methods. Also, both of them serve as excellent research models.

How are primary cells obtained?

The primary cells are isolated from the parent tissue. The parent tissue is dissected, and the tissue undergoes enzymatic or mechanical treatments. Later, the isolated cells are separated and placed in a culture medium.

What are adherent and suspension cell cultures?

Adherent cell cultures include layers of primary cells attached to a surface. These types of cells need an anchorage to survive. Whereas suspension cells do not require anchorage. These include small aggregates of primary cells suspended in a growth medium.

Also Read: Tissues

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