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 in another 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 purposes
  • Ethics approval is required for research purposes

Contact us

For further information and user fees:

Mrs Lucy Perez
Phone: +61 3 8341 6230