Tissue culture

Our tissue culture laboratory provides cell cultures and media for research scientists as well as establishing skin fibroblast or lymphoblast cultures from patients for diagnostic and quality assurance testing. 


  • All specimens must have:
    • a referral/patient request slip that is adequately filled in, legible and signed
    • specimen must have appropriate labelling
  • Specimens should never be frozen without cryoprotectant as this kills the cells and makes culturing impossible. 
  • It is also important if transporting these samples to pack them completely separate from any frozen samples i.e. in a separate container.
  • Cultured cells should be sent at room temperature and must not be allowed to freeze.
  • Skin biopsy and post-mortem skin samples: Preferred specimen is a 2 to 3mm sample of full thickness skin fully submerged in Skin Biopsy Medium. Other suitable media such as Viral Transport Media or Normal Saline may be used.
  • Skin Fibroblasts in Culture: One or two 25cm2 flasks of cells at a low passage number (preferably) and at about 70 to 80% confluence. Flasks should be completely filled with media for transport and caps sealed with Parafilm. Cells for mitochondrial enzymology should preferably be grown in media containing 50ug/ml Uridine and 1mM pyruvate.
  • Blood for EBV transformation of lymphocytes or lymphocyte storage: 8 to 10mls of venous blood with either Heparin or EDTA as anticoagulant.
  • Cultures of Lymphoblasts: A tube or flask of cells is required containing several million cells.
  • Amniotic and Chorionic Villus Cultures: These samples are treated in the same way as fibroblast cultures but using media designed for the optimum growth of amniocytes (Amniomax C100).

Information required

  • Patient name
  • Medical record number
  • Date of birth
  • Date of sample
  • Delay between death and collection if relevant
  • Billing address and delivery address for the cells to be sent for diagnostic purposesHuman
  • Ethics approval is required for research purposes

Contact us

For further information and user fees:

Mrs Lucy Perez
Phone: +61 3 8341 6230