Human skeletal muscle myoblasts stained for desmin and counterstained for dapi

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Human Primary cells - The why and how?


History of  Primary Cell Culture

CloneticsTM  is the pioneer of human primary cells. In 1984, the company was the first to develop a novel technology which allowed culturing of human primary cells outside of their tissue origin. This was a crucial step forward in the research community as scientists now had the capacity to study tissue specific characteristics on a cellular level in vitro and develop more biologically relevant models.

Clonetics™ first led its primary cell business with select cell types. Overtime, the portfolio has grown to more than 100+ cell types spanning numerous research areas. The portfolio quality has also expanded to include normal as well as diseased cells from asthma, COPD, diabetes and cystic fibrosis tissue. For each cell type, careful consideration is given to maintain broad donor variety, highest quality control, batch-to-batch consistency, and large-scale production capacity. Lonza’s Clonetics™, by far, is the largest primary cells portfolio being offered commercially.


Clonetics™ human primary cells test negative for HIV-1, Hepatitis B and C, mycoplasma and sterility. Immuno and special staining protocols, characteristic morphology, and flow cytometry are used to characterize the cells and authenticate their identity. A Certificate of Analysis is available for each lot. The cells are guaranteed to perform when used with the optimized system comprised of Clonetics™ Cells, Media, Reagents, and Protocol.

Donor Criteria

Donor characteristics are such as age, sex, and race are available for each lot. Our Clonetics™ Diseased Cells have additional donor information regarding medical history and medications. Contact Scientific Support team to get further information.


Recommended Media

Clonetics™ Media Kits have been specially designed to support the growth of CloneticsTM cells. Each media  BulletKit™ is comprised of basal media and a SingleQuot™ Kit of growth factors and supplements. 


Most cells are available cryopreserved, proliferating culture (in either flasks or plates), or as pellets


Why Use Human Primary Cells?

It is widely understood that primary cells are most biologically and physiologically relevant in vitro tool. While most researchers are familiar with the significance of high-quality human primary cells, they are limited to using cell lines or isolating human primary cells in-house for experimentation. Cell lines may not be the optimal tool for biologically relevant data because cell lines may contain undefined set of mutations and chromosomal abnormalities that arise from multiple replications. Labs that have stepped into primary cell culture by isolating them in-house face obstacles of comparing data due to the variability among the reagents and the procedures used by individual groups to isolate primary cells.