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Wellcome-MRC Cambridge Stem Cell Institute


Tissue culture facility


TC Facilities

  • 15 CL1, eight CL2 and one HFEA room
  • 147 incubators
  • 72 class II MSCs
  • 72 aspirators
  • 290 pipettes


The Tissue Culture Facility provides services to the SCI and affiliated labs such as inactivated MEF production, growth factors, training and quality controlled reagents. Affiliates can find out more details about the cost and services by emailing e-mail:








The Tissue Culture Facility produce single use aliquots for all the main cell culture reagents such as L-glu, NEAA, pen/strep, mercaptoethanol and sodium pyruvate. All reagents are fully traceable and are sterility tested. Bulk purchases of the reagents such as antibiotics and growth factors allow for large cost savings within the institute.


Growth Factors/proteins

Marko Hyvonen (, Dept of Biochemistry, produces large batches of growth factors/proteins for use in the Cambridge SCI. The tissue culture department can provide these growth factors and proteins to your lab reconstituted and aliquoted in the volumes you require. These growth factors have been tested within the CSCR. The bFGF, activin A and mouse LIF are used on a daily basis and have shown to be equivalent to the commercially available reagents, but for a fraction of the cost.


Mycoplasma Screening

Mycoplasma infections of cells in culture were first discovered in 1956, 10 years later it was reported 59% of cells in culture were infected with mycoplasma. Mycoplasma infections may induce cellular changes, including chromosome aberrations, changes in metabolism and cell growth.

The Tissue Culture Facility routinely run a PCR based mycoplasma tests available for labs in the JCBC. These tests are sensitive down to 500CFU/ml. To submit a sample for testing all we need is a sample of media from your cells that is antibiotic-free and has been on the cells for 5 days.


Feeder cells

The Tissue Culture facility has banks of active MEF cells available in vials of approximately 3 million cells per vial, cell types available include MF1 mefs, DS red Mefs and a limited supply of DR4 mefs.

All cell batches are testing for bacterial and fungal contamination. Cells are screened for mycoplasma by broth with a test sensitivity of less than 20CFU/ml as well as the in house PCR.



The TC team bulk purchase plastic consumables for the TC labs, ensuring the best price. These are delivered to the users normally with same day delivery. SCI members can find the plasticware order form on the facilities shared drive.

Link for PC users – if you are at home you need to VPN in


Link for Mac users




The Academic chair for Tissue Culture is Dr Maria Alcolea.

For general enquiries about the services that the Tissue Culture team provide please email on: or call on: 01223 760293