International Cell Line Authentication Committee


 The role of ICLAC

The International Cell Line Authentication Committee (ICLAC) aims to make cell line misidentification more visible and to promote awareness and authentication testing as effective ways to combat it.


ICLAC website Home Page (  The home page includes links to ICLAC resources; references; and more information on the committee.

ICLAC can also be contacted at

A persistent problem

Regrettably, cross-contamination and misidentification are still common within the research community.  Many cell lines were cross-contaminated during establishment; this means that all work using those cell lines has incorrectly used the contaminant – which may come from a different species or a different tissue.

A cell line is considered to be misidentified if it no longer corresponds to the individual from whom it was first established.  Many cases of misidentification are caused by cross-contamination, where another, faster growing, cell line is introduced into that culture.   Authentication testing is an effective way to combat cell line misidentification.  In 2011, the ATCC SDO published a standard on authentication testing of human cell lines.  ICLAC was formed after publication of the standard to provide guidance and an on-going focus for improvement in this area.


Database of Cross-Contaminated or Misidentified Cell Lines

Before considering or initiating a project, the simplest way of checking the cell lines that you propose to use is to look in this database. The latest version can be downloaded in PDF form:  

Database of Cross-Contaminated or Misidentified Cell Lines




ICLAC Documents

Terms of Reference

Why Cell Line Authentication?

Advice to Scientists

Authentication SOP




Other Website Links