With barriers to entry low, the number of companies supplying high quality human tissue for research continues to rise.
At the same time, the range of cell types available has also expanded to include more specialized normal cell types as well as cells isolated from non-normal or disease-state tissues.
The difficulties associated with obtaining high quality human tissue for research purposes motivated the establishment of commercial entities to meet this need 25 years ago; the demand for high quality primary cells continues to grow, inspiring established companies and entrepreneurs alike to meet this need.
Primary cell cultures more closely mimic the physiological state of cells in vivo and generate more relevant data representing living systems compared to transformed continuous cell lines. Primary cells are widely used—over half of those who perform cell culture use primary cells to achieve their research objectives.
About half of those who use primary cells purchase at least some portion of the primary cells that they use (see graph below). A near equal percentage never purchase primary cells because it is easy to isolate the cells of interest and the tissues are readily available.