7 Key Applications of cell culture in Research

Cell culture has a wide range of applications across various fields of research and the medical industry.

This article summarizes some key applications of cell culture (1,2,3):

1. Basic research: Cell culture is extensively used in basic research to study cell behavior, physiology, and molecular processes to investigate cell signaling pathways, gene expression, cell cycle regulation, and cellular responses to different stimuli.

2. Drug discovery and development: Cells cultured in vitro can be used to test the efficacy, toxicity, and safety of potential drug candidates before proceeding to animal and clinical trials.

3. Disease modeling: By culturing cells from patients or genetically modified cell lines, researchers can investigate the cellular and molecular aspects of diseases such as cancer, neurodegenerative disorders, cardiovascular diseases, and genetic disorders.

4. Tissue engineering and regenerative medicine: Cell culture is a fundamental technique in tissue engineering, where cells are cultured on scaffolds or in 3D matrices to create functional tissues or organs. This has the potential to revolutionize regenerative medicine by developing replacements for damaged or diseased tissues.

5. Vaccine production: Many vaccines are produced using cell culture techniques. Viral vaccines, such as those for influenza, measles, and polio, are often propagated in cell cultures, providing a controlled environment for virus replication.

6. Biopharmaceuticals: Cells are genetically engineered to produce specific proteins, and large-scale cell culture systems are used to amplify the protein production to further produce complex and valuable molecules for medical purposes.

7. Toxicity analysis: Cells can be cultured to assess the potential toxicity of chemicals, drugs, and environmental agents by exposing the cells to these substances to study their responses, such as cell viability, gene expression, and morphological changes.


1. Segeritz CP, Vallier L. Cell Culture: Growing Cells as Model Systems In Vitro. Basic Science Methods for Clinical Researchers. 2017:151–72. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-803077-6.00009-6. Epub 2017 Apr 7. PMCID: PMC7149418.

2. Ghanemi A. Cell cultures in drug development: Applications, challenges and limitations. Saudi Pharm J. 2015 Sep;23(4):453-4. doi: 10.1016/j.jsps.2014.04.002. Epub 2014 Apr 20. PMID: 27134549; PMCID: PMC4834691.

3. Edmondson R, Broglie JJ, Adcock AF, Yang L. Three-dimensional cell culture systems and their applications in drug discovery and cell-based biosensors. Assay Drug Dev Technol. 2014 May;12(4):207-18. doi: 10.1089/adt.2014.573. PMID: 24831787; PMCID: PMC4026212.