LGC Standards has launched a new service to help researchers establish the identity of the human immortal cell lines used in their laboratory.

The service utilises short tandem repeat (STR) profiling, a widely used technique established in forensic science.

In a quest to discover new therapeutic drugs and drug targets, cell based in-vitro models of a specific human disease or organ target are used in preference to animal models.

The common of in-vitro model systems is the immortal human cell line, which can be used to mimic particular characteristics of their original organ as either ‘normal’ tissue or be representative of a specific disease state.

According to the recent studies as many as 16% of the cell lines used in research are either misidentified or contaminated.