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Cell type-specific immortalization using our optimized library of immortalization genes

Benefits of immortalizing cells with us

Cell-type-specific immortalization

Unlike other companies that utilize standard immortalization genes regardless of the cell type, we employ a custom library of genes specifically tailored to each cell type.

There are more than 200 different cell types in the human body, all serving highly specific functions. Immortalizing a complex sensory neuron requires activation of different proliferation pathways compared to a simple fibroblast.

This guarantees the best possible phenotype for your cell type.

Our top priority when creating a new immortalized cell line is functionality. While achieving cell proliferation is relatively straightforward, we specialize on maintaining a high level of functionality in our immortalized cells.

What makes a cell functional can vary significantly across projects. It may be the expression of cell-type-specific markers, performance in an assay or even the integration of a reporter system ready for high-troughput screening.

Regardless of your definition of functionality, we commit to delivering an immortalized cell line that meets your criteria and is actually useful for your research work.

We offer extensive customization for our immortalization projects to meet your specific needs.

Perhaps you just require two vials of a polyclonal mouse fibroblast cell line to serve as feeder cells, generated from primary cells you already have in-house.

Or, you might need us to source tissue, immortalize multiple cell types from it, establish a co-culture assay, and then supply you with assay-ready master cell banks.

Tell us your idea and we will tailor the project to align with your requirements.

Our immortalized cells have been featured in over 75 peer-reviewed scientific publications and the technology itself is published. Academic research began in the early 2000s and since 2009, our company has successfully immortalized over 25 different cell types from more than 12 distinct species.

We have accumulated extensive experience in cell immortalization and offer a fair feasibility assessment of your project before any commitment is made.

Our immortalization technology

Starting with high-quality primary material, we use our custom library of immortalization genes encoded in lentiviruses to immortalize a wide range of different cell types.

Based on our experience, we will use cell-type-specific combinations of immortalization genes for an optimal result.

Applications of immortalized cells

-> Functional cell lines

Fully characterized off-the-shelf or custom immortalized cells for drug discovery, 3D cell culture or Organ-on-Chip applications.

-> Patient tissue in vitro

Different cell lines from patient tissue, for example endothel, epithel and fibroblasts for basic and applied research.

-> Patient cohorts in vitro

Immortalization of the same cell type from different patients for personalized drug discovery and precision medicine - patients in a dish.

-> Tumor microenvironment in vitro

Cell lines from cancerous tissue, vascultature and the tumor microenvironment (cancer-associated fibroblasts - CAFs).

Immortalization project workflow

-> We provide you with an honest feasibility assessment

Based on your project idea, we draft a project proposal including:

  • a feasibility assessment
  • suggested project structure and milestones
  • timeline and cost estimates

Thanks to our extensive experience immortalizing a wide range of cell types from different species we will tell you if your project is a low-, mid-, or high-risk project.

-> We determine the best sourcing strategy and acquire the material

Starting material:

  • isolated cells (cryopreserved or fresh)
  • tissue with subsequent cell isolation

Source or the material:

  • material provided by you directly
  • we source the material using our established network of suppliers

Independent of the sourcing strategy, we commit to observing highest ethical standards and adhering to all applicable laws and regulations.

-> We isolate, culture and quality control primary cells

Based on the starting material as decided in „2. Sourcing“ we can either culture the primary cells directly, or perform cell isolation with optional cell sorting.

We use cell culture conditions that result in high-quality primary cells as basis for immortalization:

  • Cell culture protocols provided by you
  • Publicly available protocols
  • Protocols based on our extensive experience with a variety of primary cells

An important part is to quality control the primary cells and we offer the following options:

  • species identification
  • viability
  • contaminations (human pathogens, mycoplasma)
  • phenotype (marker expression, functional assays) – you cannot preserve anything that was not there to begin with

-> We use the ideal immortalization approach for your cell line

We have a custom library of immortalization genes to robustly immortalize almost any cell type from any species. Based on the cell type and your requirements we will use either of the following approaches, or any combination thereof:

  • immortalization using a cell-type-specific sub-library of genes (for example: human lung epithelial cells)
  • immortalization using a sub-library of genes that has worked for similar cell types (for example endothelial cells)
  • immortalization using a sub-library that robustly immortalizes a wide range of different cell types
  • immortalization using our complete gene library

This step is highly cell-type- and project-specific, requires a lot of experience and finesse – we have been doing this for a very long time, trust us on this one.

-> We make sure the cell line fits your requirements

The scope of characterization varies greatly across projects. It can be as simple as monitoring expression of a surface marker by flow cytometry, or it could be the a comprehensive analysis of the cell phenotype across the mRNA, protein and functional level compared to the primary source material.

What is important, that the immortalized cell line is useful for your work!

Image the following two different immortalized endothelial cell lines:

  • Endothel-A: very high and homogenous expression of CD31 (key endothelial marker), but it does not form tubes for angiogenesis assays
  • Endothel-B: medium CD31 expression, but great performance in tube forming assays

If you are looking to use the cells to screen biologics for binding to CD31, Endothel-A is your best choice. However, if you are screening anti-angiogenesis compounds you might want to ignore the lower CD31 expression since it is „just“ a marker and use Endothel-B for its superior performance in your key assay.

Here is a non-exhaustive list of characterisation methods we offer in house or via subcontractors:

  • RT-qPCR
  • NGS
  • RNASeq
  • IF/ICC
  • Flow cytometry
  • WB
  • second messenger assays (calcium, cAMP etc.) by fluorescence or luminescence
  • live cell imaging (fluorescence or brightfield) for short- or long-term assays (Cellcyte X, Zeiss CD7)
  • barrier formation via TEER
  • plate reader-based assays

-> We make sure everything looks good before we ship the cells

We perform extensive quality control to ensure you receive the best possible cell line. We offer a range of QC options, some of which are included as standard in our projects, others are optional:

  • contaminations (bacteria, mycoplasma, fungi)
  • human pathogens
  • STR profiling, species identification
  • cell numbers and viability
  • karyotyping

As part of our QC, we can also prepare cell banks ranging from research cell banks (<50Mio cells) up to small master cell banks (up to 1000Mio cells).

We provide all protocols and results generated within the project to you in a comprehensive written report.


-> Due to the highly customized nature of our immortalization projects, pricing can vary significantly across projects.

-> To still give you an idea, here are cost and timeline estimates for typical project structures.



From Cells

No Characterization

4 000–8 000 €

2–3 months



From Cells

Basic Characterization

10 000–20 000 €

4–6 months



From Tissue

Full Characterization

35 000–75 000 €

6–10 months

Immortalization Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How are the cells immortalized?

We use a custom library of immortalization genes encoded in lentiviruses for cell-type-specific immortalization. The simultaneous expression of multiple different immortalization genese stimulates different proliferation pathways meaning less overall expression is required to achieve robust proliferation. This leads to a better phenotype compared to traditional one- or two-gene immortalization approaches.

For a detailed discussion of our immortalization technology, schedule an introductory call, or have a look at our methodology paper: Lipps et al. Nat Comm (2018).

The immortalized cell lines are BSL1. Now, there may be exceptions to this, if the source material is already classified BSL2. For example some porcine material is considered BSL2 in certain countries.We are happy to assist you with determining the BSL of your material.

Yes, we will provide you with a list of all integrated immortalization genes.

Generally, any primary cell that:

  • can be kept viable in culture for about a week
  • grows adherent
  • is derived from a mammalian species

is considered a low- to mid-risk project by us with good to very good chances of creating a functional cell line.

Here are some cell types and species that we consider mid- to high-risk projects and that likely require preliminary experiments:

  • cells derived from the haematopoietic system
  • cells from the nervous system (central and peripheral)
  • cells from avian species
  • cells from aquatic species

Generally, most commercial research applications are allowed and you receive a royalty-free license to our IP to use the cells for your research with completion of the service project.

Any other commercial uses may be possible as well (offering research services, release assays, incorporation into your products) but they may require separate licenses.

Please also note that this also depends on the source material, its ownership, any use limitations or exclusions as listed in the patient consent.

We commit to providing you truly immortalized cells meaning they can be expanded indefinitely. However, as with any other cell line, regular monitoring of the phenotype (markers, assays) is recommended, especially once the cells are expanded beyond passage 50.

With proper cell banking practice, you should never run out of high-quality, low passage immortalized cells.

While anything above 1Mio cells is ideal, we can work with as low as 0.1Mio cells.

The more, the better, especially if the project involves characterization of the primary cells prior to immortalization or comparison of the immortalized cells with the primary cells.

We do not have any lead times and can start your project immediately. Please note, however, that sourcing primary material can sometimes mean waiting times of several months especially for tissue sourcing.

The first step is to get in touch with us and tell us about your project idea. We will then provide you with a quote, which you can use for generating a purchase order.

You can then submit this PO to and we will start the project.

If we need to be registered as a supplier in your database, please contact .

In addition, we are listed on multiple digital purchasing platforms.

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