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Trypsin-EDTA for Primary Cells


Trypsin-EDTA for Primary Cells is a low-concentration formulation (compared to ATCC 30-2101) of porcine pancreatic trypsin and EDTA that are suitable for the dissociation of cell monolayers that are susceptible to “over-trypsinization.” These adherent cells include primary cells (ie, ATCC Primary Cells Solutions cell types) and a variety of mammalian cell lines propagated in serum-free or low-serum conditions. This product does not contain phenol red.
Product category
0.05% Trypsin, 0.02% EDTA in phosphate buffered saline without calcium or magnesium.

Additional Reagents Needed for Subculture:

  1. DPBS (ATCC 30-2200)
  2. Trypsin Neutralizing Solution (ATCC PCS-999-004
Cell growth and viability
100 mL
Product format
Storage conditions
-20°C or colder
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ATCC determined that a biosafety level is not applicable to this material based on our risk assessment as guided by the current edition of Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories (BMBL), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is your responsibility to complete your own risk assessment and understand any potential hazards associated with the material per your organization’s policies and procedures and any other applicable regulations as enforced by your local or national agencies.

Detailed product information


Specific applications
Please refer to the product sheet supplied with each primary cell for details as to use, or contact ATCC Technical Service.

Handling information

Handling procedure

Each type of cell or cell line responds to Trypsin-EDTA for Primary Cells in a unique manner. For optimum results, continuously observe the cells during the dissociation process to prevent damage. For cell-specific information, please refer to the product sheet supplied with the cells or cell line.

  1. Bring the DPBS, the Trypsin-EDTA for Primary Cells, and the Trypsin Neutralizing Solution to room temperature before use. Warm the complete growth medium to 37°C prior to use with the cells.
  2. For each flask, carefully aspirate the spent media without disturbing the monolayer. If the cell culture medium contains serum, each flask should be rinsed with DPBS twice prior to adding the Trypsin-EDTA for Primary Cells.
  3. Using 1 to 2 mL for every 25 cm2, add the appropriate volume of trypsin-EDTA solution to each flask (e.g., each T-25 flask would be dissociated with 1 to 2 mL trypsin-EDTA).
  4. Gently rock each flask to ensure complete coverage of the trypsin-EDTA solution over the cells, and then aspirate the excess fluid off of the monolayer; do not aspirate to dryness.
  5. Observe the cells under the microscope. When the cells pull away from each other and round up (typically within about 3 to 6 minutes), remove the flask from the microscope and gently tap the culture flask from several sides to promote detachment of the cells from the flask. Do not over-trypsinize as this will damage the cells.
    1. Some strongly adherent cell types, such as keratinocytes, may take much longer and may require trypsinization at 37°C. 
    2. Some cell types may require more vigorous tapping. 
  6. When the majority of cells appear to have detached, quickly add an equal volume of the Trypsin Neutralizing Solution to each flask. Gently pipette or swirl the culture to ensure all of the trypsin-EDTA solution has been neutralized.
  7. Transfer the dissociated cells to a sterile centrifuge tube and set aside while processing any remaining cells in the culture flask.
  8. Add 3 to 5 mL DPBS to the tissue culture flask to collect any additional cells that might have been left behind.
  9. Transfer the cell / DPBS suspension to the centrifuge tube containing the trypsin-EDTA-dissociated cells.
  10. Repeat steps 8 and 9 as needed until all cells have been collected from all flasks. 
  11. Centrifuge the cells at 150 x g for 3 to 5 minutes.
    1. Do not over centrifuge cells as this may cause cell damage.
    2. After centrifugation, the cells should form a clean loose pellet.
  12. Aspirate neutralized dissociation solution and resuspend the cell pellet in 2 to 8 mL fresh, pre-warmed, complete growth medium.
  13. Count the cells and seed new culture flasks at the recommended density. 
  14. Place newly seeded flasks in a 37°C, 5% CO2 incubator and incubate for at least 24 to 48 hours before processing the cells further.  
Store the Trypsin-EDTA for Primary Cells at -20°C. When stored as directed, the product is stable until the expiration date on the label. Avoid repeated freeze-thaws by dispensing and storing in aliquots.

Quality control specifications

Bacterial and fungal testing
Not detected
Mycoplasma contamination
Not detected
290 ± 20 mOsm/kg
7.6 ± 0.4
Functional tests
Each lot is assessed for cell passaging activity.
*A Certificate of Analysis (COA) is available upon request for each lot of Trypsin-EDTA for Primary Cells.

Legal disclaimers

Intended use
This product is intended for laboratory research use only. It is not intended for any animal or human therapeutic use, any human or animal consumption, or any diagnostic use.

The product is provided 'AS IS' and the viability of ATCC® products is warranted for 30 days from the date of shipment, provided that the customer has stored and handled the product according to the information included on the product information sheet, website, and Certificate of Analysis. For living cultures, ATCC lists the media formulation and reagents that have been found to be effective for the product. While other unspecified media and reagents may also produce satisfactory results, a change in the ATCC and/or depositor-recommended protocols may affect the recovery, growth, and/or function of the product. If an alternative medium formulation or reagent is used, the ATCC warranty for viability is no longer valid.  Except as expressly set forth herein, no other warranties of any kind are provided, express or implied, including, but not limited to, any implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, manufacture according to cGMP standards, typicality, safety, accuracy, and/or noninfringement.


This product is intended for laboratory research use only. It is not intended for any animal or human therapeutic use, any human or animal consumption, or any diagnostic use. Any proposed commercial use is prohibited without a license from ATCC.

While ATCC uses reasonable efforts to include accurate and up-to-date information on this product sheet, ATCC makes no warranties or representations as to its accuracy. Citations from scientific literature and patents are provided for informational purposes only. ATCC does not warrant that such information has been confirmed to be accurate or complete and the customer bears the sole responsibility of confirming the accuracy and completeness of any such information.

This product is sent on the condition that the customer is responsible for and assumes all risk and responsibility in connection with the receipt, handling, storage, disposal, and use of the ATCC product including without limitation taking all appropriate safety and handling precautions to minimize health or environmental risk. As a condition of receiving the material, the customer agrees that any activity undertaken with the ATCC product and any progeny or modifications will be conducted in compliance with all applicable laws, regulations, and guidelines. This product is provided 'AS IS' with no representations or warranties whatsoever except as expressly set forth herein and in no event shall ATCC, its parents, subsidiaries, directors, officers, agents, employees, assigns, successors, and affiliates be liable for indirect, special, incidental, or consequential damages of any kind in connection with or arising out of the customer's use of the product. While reasonable effort is made to ensure authenticity and reliability of materials on deposit, ATCC is not liable for damages arising from the misidentification or misrepresentation of such materials.

Please see the material transfer agreement (MTA) for further details regarding the use of this product. The MTA is available at


Frequently Asked Questions

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