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Cell lines


A cell line is a population of cells that can maintain in vitro culture for an extended period of time, and is usually clonal, meaning that the entire population originated from a single, common ancestor cell. 1


A cell line in Chemotion ELN is divided into a conceptual and a physical part. The conceptual part describes general information like the name of the cell line, the origin or the source organism. The physical part describes a concrete realization of the conceptual part and can be seen as a real object with properties like number, location or current passage. Multiple physical objects can share the same conceptual part.

Representation in ELN

Cell lines are represented and treated analogously to other elements (Sample, Reaction, ... )

Tabular form

Cell lines in table form
  1. Group of cell line samples of a cell line concept. It is uniquely identified by the cell line name and the source. Additional information can be made visible or hidden by toggling button
Cell lines in table form
  1. Button to create a sample of the current cell line concept. All properties of the current concept are filled in automatically. 3. Button to hide or show additional information 4. Button to show or hide elements of the group

All other buttons or functionalities (such as the time restriction of the cell lines, visibility/position of the element tab) function in the same way as the other elements of the ELN.

Detailed view

Properties tab

Common properties

The properties tab describes the conceptual properties of the cell lines (common properties) as well as the physical properties (item specific properties).

The following properties can be defined in the common properties area:

property namedescriptionoptional
cell line namethe name of the cell lineno
sourcethe source of the original cell lineno
diseaseDisease which is present in the cellsyes
organismDonor organism of the cellsyes
tissuetissue from which the cells are extractedyes
growth mediumyes
mutationany known mutation of the cell lineyes
variantany variant of the cell lineyes
biosafety levelthe biosafety level of the cellsno
cryopreservation mediumyes
opt. growth temperaturein degrees celsiusyes
gendergender of the donor organismyes
cell typetype of the cellyes
descriptionany additional informationyes

When selecting the name of the cell lines, the user is supported by a pre-selection of existing cell lines. It is also possible to create new cell line names.

Item specific properties

The following properties can be defined in the item specific properties area:

property namedescriptionoptional
amountnumerical or scientific notationyes
unitpredefined or custom unit of amountyes
contaminationany known contamination of cell line sampleyes
name of specific probecan be used to identify specific probesyes
descriptionany additional informationyes

The representation of the amount can be switched with the Item specific properties button.

Analyses tab

The analysis tab works in exactly the same way as for other elements, with one exception. Instead of the Chemical Methods Ontology for the method, terms from the BioAssayOntology are used.2

References tab

Item specific properties

Instead of the literature categories (cited own work, cited reference and referring to) the user can add the literature to the categories official literature and additional literature. The references are linked to the conceptual part of the cell line instead to the physical sample.

Creation of cell line samples

Cell lines can be generated in several ways:

  1. By selecting a collection, a new cell line can be created in this collection using the Item specific properties button in the top menu.

  2. The button Item specific properties can be used to create a new sample for an existing cell line. To do this, the collection of the cell line sample must be active.

  3. By importing a collection with cell lines, cell line samples can be created.


Collections with cell lines can be exported and imported as with other elements.

Cell lines can be searched for and found using the basic search. The following properties are taken into account in the search: name of the cell line and the specific name of the sample.

Item specific properties


[1] Young, M. (2019). Comprehensive Biotechnology (3rd edition)