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Long-term cell storage at -80C - (May/15/2006 )

Hi there

I was recently informed that mammalian cells could be stored long-term at -80C and that labs are moving away from using liquid nitrogen storage. Is there any value to this information? If so, how long do you think cells could be stored in this way and is there any literature out there on this??

-Mr. Brightside-

We have started to store mammalian cells in -80C and they seem to behave pretty well when we thaw them for use. But I have only used cells stored for less than 6 months in -80C so for long term storage I am not sure now.

I havent heard anything that labs are moving away from storing in liquid nitogen in our dept.


regarding cryoproperties of proteins, -70° is considered as the stop temp for biological based reactions. so only -80° seems requireed for long term storage.

But for many years storage, i wouldn't do other than in liquid nitrogen, by which you're sure of not reaching temp up than -70° (which may be the case by an electricity break or a failure during a week end or just by an opening of the freezer)


We had little success when trying to resuscitate banked cell lines frozen in the -80C freezer. We switched to liquid nitrogen storage and they work really well every time now

Although I always store pelleted cells for RNA isolation in the -80C freezer with no problem

-John Buckels-

ya, I also heard that -80C was only good for 6 months...

We store our cells in the vapour phase above the liquid nitrogen. the temp isn't that much higher and don't have to worry about explosions.


I had worked in a lab once where all the cells were stored at -80 and thawed with no problem. But I tried that in my current lab with the cell lines that I'm using and they did not thaw very well-less that 30% viability. Plus our freezer died and I lost alot of my cells. I am now using liquid nitrogen exclusively and would recommend it over -80.


I used to store some cells after expansion for short time (because N2 tank was fool and wanted to go on holyday or was to busy to contiune with the cells).
they were OK for few weeks, but after several months there is too much dead cells.
I would never never keep my stock in the freezer.


Dear All,

New to this forum today and have commented on a few threads already. Having done cell culture for nearly 30 years and it continues to suprises me that everybody wants to re-invent the wheel. Long term storage of cells has always been and should continue to be in LIQUID NITROGEN. It is a tried and tested method for as long as people have been storing cells cryogenically. Short term storage i.e. for less than one year is OK at -80oC, but for longer term storage always store at -196oC in liquid phase. Why take any risk, especially when cell lines are so expensive and transfected cells even more valuable.