Deposit cell lines 

Depositing your cell line with the UK Stem Cell Bank will allow you to:

  • provide authenticated, stringently tested, well-characterised cells within a quality framework
  • receive a detailed assessment of your cell lines, using standardised methodologies
  • provide a secure off-site depository for disaster recovery under HTA License (Number: 22502) 
  • protect your intellectual property

The UK Stem Cell Bank has no Intellectual Property rights over deposited cell lines and will not distribute cell lines to third parties without a depositors/user agreement.

Human embryonic stem cell lines

It is a requirement that all human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) derived in the UK under a Human Fertilisation & Embryology Authority (HFEA) licence are deposited with the UK Stem Cell Bank. Applications to deposit human embryonic stem cell lines must be submitted to the UK Stem Cell Bank Steering Committee via the MRC Secretariat. Details of the criteria applied by the UK Steering Committee and examples of the types of stem cell line that may be deposited are given in the Code of Practice for the Use of Human Stem Cell Lines [PDF]. 

Process for depositing cell lines with the UK Stem Cell Bank

Complete an application to deposit form [DOC] and send completed forms to

Contact us at to discuss the required deposition documentation.

Complete and return our 
Cell Line Information Form [DOC]You may also be asked to provide further information related to the lines, which will be treated in confidence (we request that you make us aware of any areas that are considered commercially sensitive). 

The UK Stem Cell Bank requires a frozen (or vitrified) material and a minimum of six cryovials or straws from the same passage. This should be from the earliest passage that best represents the cell line you have derived and that can generate a fresh stock of stem cells.

Once the information on your cell line is complete the UK Stem Cell Bank will undertake a risk assessment. You may be asked for feedback on the testing strategy developed for your cell line.  

Prior to taking in the stock of cells, we will discuss the best method of shipping the material to the UK Stem Cell Bank.This may involve us in collecting the deposit from you, or arranging for collection by a third party.

We will confirm receipt of your cells. In the case that you also require banking, we may contact you with technical questions and, if requested, we can return a sample from our distribution bank for your own testing. 

Deposit patent-related cell lines (WIPO)

The UK Stem Cell Bank also offer a patent Depository Service for patent-related cell lines under International depository authority. Details of the requirements for depositing stem cell lines for patent purposes can be found in the NIBSC Guide to the Deposit of Cultures for Patent Purposes [PDF].

Other non-hESC stem cell lines

To deposit other non-hESC stem cell lines, or for more information about our cell depository service, please contact us directly at