Stable human primary patient-derived astrocyte cell cultures from fetal and adult brain tissue

Categories: “Diagnostics” “Research Tools

Reference #: 2017-048

OTC Contact: Ruchika Nijhara Ph.D., MBA, Director (Directory Information | Send a Message)


Astrocyte cultures, conditionally reprogrammed to be ‘immortal’ with unlimited expansion potential.

To date, creating immortalized cell lines typically requires significant genetic manipulation that alters the phenotypic biology of cells, a problem that is exacerbated with multiple passages. Propagation of unaltered primary astrocyte cell lines is limited to 5-8 passages and these are derived solely from fetal brain. Georgetown investigators have developed a unique media composition which allow normal astrocytes from both fetal and adult origin to proliferate over a long time without any genetic manipulation. 


  • Proliferation of normal astrocytes from both fetal and adult origin
  • Allows researchers to do a variety of assays including gene knock-out studies using CRISPR and/or shRNA screens, overexpression of gene(s), drug screens and basic biological and translational studies to better understand the biology of astrocytes that otherwise would not be possible.


  • The primary astrocytes from fetal and adult brain material last for at least twenty passages, vastly superior to the industry standard
  • With this method, cells can be frozen down and then reconstituted for expansion in proprietary culture media
  • Provides low cost alternative to other commercially available tools, as this technique uniquely creates immortal cultures.
  • These lines of primary cell origin are not immortalized by genetic or viral methods.

Stage of Development

The cultured astrocytes validates to retain key biomarkers of the cell type.  Functional characterization studies ongoing and to be soon completed. 


Seema Agarwal

Brent Harris

Richard Schlegel