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Cell Line Authentication

As part of the National Institutes of Health’s focus on Enhancing Reproducibility through Rigor and Transparency, a description of cell line authentication methods to be used is now required in all NIH grant applications.

While any cell line authentication service or valid internal method can be used for this purpose, Penn State College of Medicine has secured discounted rates for Penn State researchers from any campus for human cell line authentication with Genetica, a commercial company.

In order to receive the negotiated discounts for their services, samples must be submitted with a University-specific form and following Genetica’s requirements.

Cell line authentication services are currently only available for human cell lines, as appropriate standardized STR tests for cell lines from other species are not yet validated as of July 2016.

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Submitting Samples to Genetica

For First-Time Genetica Users Expand answer

First-time users of the Genetica services need to establish an account by emailing the completed Cell Line Authentication Test Submission Form for their first test submissions to, leaving both the Genetica Account Number and the Purchase Card information fields blank.

Genetica will then assign a unique Genetica Account Number, which will be used to retrieve results online once they are ready. That account number must also be used on subsequent test sample submission sheets.

Submission Requirements Expand answer

As detailed in the sample preparation requirements and guidelines document, investigators can either send Genetica at least 200 ng of gDNA from a human cell line to be tested (ambient temperature shipping); or send a tightly-capped, paraffin-wrapped microfuge tube containing a cell pellet of 100,000 to 5 million cells (has to be shipped on dry ice).

Note that the Genome Sciences facility at Penn State College of Medicina can extract gDNA.

Only cells with Biosafety Level 1 or 2 designations can be accepted at Genetica.

In addition:

  • Fresh or frozen cells must be shipped on dry ice overnight.
  • gDNA can be shipped at ambient temperature.
  • Investigators must include a printed copy of their Cell Line Authentication Test Submission Form with the cells or gDNA being sent, and include the purchase card information on that accompanying sheet. Investigators may alternately call Genetica with Purchase Card information at 800-433-6848.
  • Shipments must arrive on weekdays only.
  • For subsequent test submissions, investigators must include the Genetica Account Number on the emailed Cell Line Authentication Test Submission Form and follow all other instructions as described above for first-time submitters.

Shipping Address

Genetica DNA Laboratories – LabCorp
Attn: Cell Line Services
1440 York Ct.
Burlington, NC 27215