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STR Profile Essentials for Human Cell Line Identification and Authentication

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Historically, cell line misidentification, cross-contamination, and genetic drift have resulted in inconsistent or invalidated studies. As such, establishing a human cell line’s identity through Short Tandem Repeat (STR) profiling has become essential in conducting valid, reproducible, impactful research. A growing list of 70 journals and organizations are now highly recommending or requiring cell authentication to publish a researcher’s findings. Moreover, since 2016 the National Institutes of Health requires scientists to authenticate their cell lines to receive funding.

Since 1986, ATCC has been the leader in utilizing STR technology and human STR data interpretation. ATCC routinely performs STR analysis on its human cell lines, and from the resulting data has created a searchable online database of those STR profiles. The ATCC STR Profile Database provides researchers in industry and academia with an easy-to-use comparative tool to cross-reference STR profile queries against hundreds of human cell lines maintained by ATCC. Further, this large data set is employed as a reference against the profiles generated by the ATCC Cell Authentication Service to create a comprehensive interpretation of the assay results.

Have confidence in the identity of your cells, and get the data you need in 3 Easy Steps!

Easy steps to for cell authentication

  1. Place an order by selecting one of the service options.
  2. Spot cells onto the Sample Collection Card that you received from the mailer packet in the mail.
  3. Mail the dried card back to us in the pre-addressed envelope. (View Sample Instructions)

Results are emailed to you in a PDF format. (Sample Generic Report).

ATCC provides:

  • Comprehensive analysis of your cell line by ATCC experts
  • ISO/IEC 17025 certified process for STR authentication
  • Barcoded sample and process controls
  • STR report that meets requirements for funding, publication, and quality control
  • Results emailed to you within 3-5 business days
  • Substantial savings for larger volume authentication services

See how easy it is to submit your samples!


ATCC® Standards Development Organization

ATCC Standards Development Organization

In 2007 the ATCC Standards Development Organization (SDO) became the first biological resource organization to become an American National Standards Institute (ANSI) accredited SDO. The ATCC Standards Development Organization (SDO) is a developer and publisher of stakeholder-proposed, industry-relevant, national consensus standards for biomaterials and related processes.

ASN-0002 Authentication of Human Cell Lines: Standardization of STR Profiling

ANSI Accredited Standards Developer

ASN-0002: Authentication of Human Cell Lines: Standardization of STR Profiling, an approved American National Standard published by ATCC under the direction of an international work group, provides a standardized procedure for unambiguous authentication and identification of human cell lines using STR profiling.

The standard incorporates:

  • A historical perspective of cell line cross-contamination and misidentification
  • Guidance on the use of STR profiling for authenticating human cell lines
  • A detailed protocol on the preparation of DNA samples
  • Methods for maintaining quality control of data
  • Direction on the interpretation of STR profiling results

ASN-0002: Authentication of Human Cell Lines: Standardization of STR Profiling is available for purchase on the ANSI eStandards Store at

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ATCC also provides a validated Mouse STR Profiling Service for authenticating murine cell lines.