Culture Collections

Join us for a webinar with Stefan Przyborski PhD

More sophisticated models are developing as 3D cell culture technology becomes established and accepted as a means of creating more physiologically relevant cell-based assays.  Methods that are relatively straightforward to use and that recreate the organized structure of real tissues will become valuable research tools for use in discovery, validation studies, and modeling disease. 

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Hazard Group 3 bacteria in the NCTC collection

In the UK, biological agents are classified into four Hazard Groups (HG1-4). Similar categorisations of biological agents are also seen in other parts of the world. The majority of bacteria within the NCTC collection fall within the HG2 category; however, the collection also holds over 500 strains of HG3 bacteria.

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10 Years of Human iPS Cells

In 2006 Professor Shinya Yamanaka first presented the work of his team showing that just four transcription factors were required to transform a skin cell into a pluripotent stem cell. This technology is now called reprogramming and the cells generated from its use are termed induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells.

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Why Choose Us?

Public Health England (PHE) is the custodian of four unique collections that consist of expertly preserved, authenticated cell lines and microbial strains of known provenance for use in medical science and laboratory healthcare.

All the collections are developed, managed and maintained by highly trained, dedicated staff who work in accordance with internationally recognised quality standards including certification to ISO 9001:2008.

Cultures from the collections are used by scientists who need to reassure themselves and others that the materials they are using are authentic, so the conclusions to their studies are valid and relevant. This is particularly important where research may lead to peer-reviewed publications, for example, in drug discovery and vaccine efficacy studies. Authenticated reference strains are also of paramount importance for clinical diagnostic testing, food, water and environmental microbiology testing and validation studies.

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ECACC ICON Small size

Cell lines

The European Collection of Authenticated Cell Cultures (ECACC) maintains and supplies over 40,000 cell lines and their derivatives such as DNA, RNA and cDNA.



NCTC ICON small size


The National Collection of Type Cultures (NCTC) maintains and supplies over 5,000 bacteria and mycoplasma strains.



NCPV ICON small size


The National Collection of Pathogenic Viruses (NCPV) maintains and supplies over 700 viruses and viral nucleic acid.



NCPF ICON small size


The National Collection of Pathogenic Fungi (NCPF) maintains and supplies over 4000 fungal strains.


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