WI 38 Cell Line human New

caucasian fibroblast-like fetal lung cell



biological source   human lung (fetal)
growth mode   Adherent
karyotype   2n = 46, diploid except at high passage number
morphology   Fibroblast-like
products   Collagen
receptors   Not specified
application(s)   cell culture | mammalian: suitable
shipped in   dry ice
storage temp.   −196°C


Analysis Note

Recommended culture medium: EMEM (EBSS) + 2 mM L-Glutamine + 1% Non-essential amino acids (NEAA) + 15% FBS

Biochem/physiol Actions

Finite lifespan. Approx. 50, +/- 10, population doublings. Normal doubling time is 24 hours.

Other Notes

Cultures from HPA Culture Collections and supplied by Sigma are for research purposes only. Enquiries regarding the commercial use of a cell line are referred to the depositor of the cell line. Some cell lines have additional special release conditions such as the requirement for a material transfer agreement to be completed by the potential recipient prior to the supply of the cell line. Please view the Terms & Conditions of Supply for more information.


From normal female embryonic lung (expect collagen production). These cells have a very broad human virus spectra. Particularly useful for the isolation of rhinovirus. Cells from multilatered membrane when incubated for long periods with periodic pH adjustments. Used in the preparation of human virus vaccines.

Subculture: Spit at 70-80% confluency, approx. 1:3 to 1:6, seed at 2-4x104 viable cells/cm2. Trypsinize using 0.25% solution, with or without EDTA, 37 °C and 5% CO2.

Virus studies (rhinoviruses), vaccine production

WI 38 human cell line has also been used to study the cytotoxicity of acrylic based resin compounds and silica nanoparticles.

Cell Line Origin

Human Caucasian foetal lung

DNA Profile

STR-PCR Data: Amelogenin: X
CSF1PO: 10,12
D13S317: 11
D16S539: 11,12
D5S818: 10
D7S820: 9,11
THO1: 8,9.3
vWA: 19,20

Culture Medium

EMEM (EBSS) + 2mM Glutamine + 1% Non Essential Amino Acids (NEAA) + 10% Foetal Bovine Serum (FBS).

Subculture Routine

Split sub-confluent cultures (70-80%) 1:3 to 1:6 i.e. seeding at 2-4x10,000 cells/cm2 using 0.25% trypsin/EDTA; 5% CO2; 37°C. Finite lifespan, 50 plus or minus 10 population doublings expected - doubling time 24h.

Cell Line Description

From normal embryonic lung of female. Have very broad human virus spectra, especially useful for isolation of rhinoviruses. Cells form multilayered membrane when held for long periods at 37°C with periodic pH adjustments. Used in preparation of human virus vaccines.

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Safety & Documentation

Safety Information

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