Tissue Culture & Biorepository for Cell Lines and Biofluids Shared ResourceServices & Fees
Please use the request form to request services. Fees listed are for Georgetown Department of Oncology members; others should contact the TSCR manager for fee information.
Cancer cell line repository
The TCSR manages the Lombardi's cell line repository, which includes an extensive collection of normal and tumor cell lines (animal and human) stored in a series of liquid nitrogen freezers. These are made available to investigators either as frozen vials of cells or as growing cultures. A searchable database is available to the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center investigators and can be found on the H drive.
Liquid nitrogen storage space
The TCSR maintains several liquid nitrogen freezers in which investigators can store stocks of their own cells/reagents. Inventory records are kept by each investigator. Investigators must contact the Manager of the TCSR to request liquid nitrogen storage space.
Shared culture space
The TCSR equips, maintains and monitors four shared tissue culture laboratories for use by the LCCC researchers. Three of these laboratories are used by investigators who do not have the facilities to perform tissue culture in their own laboratories or who need additional tissue culture space. They are conveniently located in the Research Building (home to most LCCC investigators) on three different floors (E326: 156 sq. ft., W404: 330 sq. ft., E517B/C: 230 sq. ft.). Each is equipped with class II laminar flow hoods (two in each of E326 and E517B/C and three in W404) and several CO2 incubators (total: 13 incubators). All the necessary ancillary equipment, such as inverted microscopes, Coulter counters and centrifuges are available in these laboratories. The fourth laboratory is a quarantine room (W314A: 120 sq. ft.) where investigators can grow cells that they have obtained from collaborators, from publicly or privately available collections, or from the operating theater, until the cells are verified to be free from mycoplasma. This laboratory contains a class II hood, a double chamber CO2 incubator, a Coulter counter, and a microscope. Please contact the Manager of the TCSR to learn how to make use of this service.
Contamination of cell cultures with mycoplasma can be a significant problem since there are often no overt signs of the presence of the organism and infection is an important potential source of artifacts. For this reason the TCSR offers a mycoplasma testing service. It is the policy of the TCSR that all cell lines must be tested for mycoplasma before they can be cultured in shared tissue culture rooms. The TCSR provides a mycoplasma testing service. Samples for mycoplasma testing can be dropped off at the main TCSR lab in W314 in the Research building. A detailed description of how to prepare and store your samples can be found here.
The TCSR provides an EBV immortalization service. Blood from study subjects is used to generate lymphoblastoid cell lines. Details of how blood is to be drawn, shipped and stored are provided here.
The TCSR purchases, tests, and prepares several tissue culture reagents that are made available to investigators. These reagents can be obtained on a walk-in basis at W314 or through the completion of the appropriate request form.
- Fetal calf serum
- Charcoal stripped calf serum
- Horse serum
The preparation of primary cultures of both normal and tumor cells, and the generation of cell lines from these cultures is another service that the facility provides. Investigators must contact the Manager of the TCSR to access this service.
Upon request, the TCSR offers a formal training in the basic principles of tissue culture with hands on experience to new laboratory personnel and trainees joining the Cancer Center. In addition, advice and assistance is provided on a walk in basis. The Resource Director gives a yearly introductory lecture about the facility during the"Resource for Cancer Research" course, which is attended by new fellows, students and staff.
The following equipment is maintained by the core and is available for use by the investigators:
- Coulter Counters (models Z1 and Z2) are available 24/7 in shared rooms W404 and E517. (Use for counting total cells). For instructions, click here.
- Coulter Multi-sizer (model M3) available in W314A during business hours. Key can be signed out. (Use for counting cells and cell size analysis).
- Luminometer (Geneprobe, model Leader 50) is available in W314 during business hours. Key can be signed out. (Use for test tubes, but not for 96 well plates).
A number of other services are offered. These include a cell banking service to assist investigators who receive frequent requests for cell lines they have generated, verification of the identity of cells by DNA fingerprinting, DNA extraction from cell lines, and the preparation of cell pellets and lysates for various purposes. In addition, the resource will provide custom tissue culture related services to investigators.