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Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public HealthCAAT

Good Cell Culture Practice

Recent Updates:

Invitation to Join GCCP 2.0 Scientific Advisory Committee

The third World Congress on Alternatives and Animal Use in the Life Sciences (Bologna,1999) discussed Good Cell Culture Practice (GCCP), i.e., the challenges in the performance of reliable in vitro studies using cells and tissues, which led to the Bologna declaration on GCCP.

The European Centre for the Validation of Alternative Methods (ECVAM) of the European Commission then established a taskforce to generate a Good Cell Culture Practice guidance document that would address the key principles required to assure reproducibility and quality of in vitro (cell-based) assays in 2002 and 2005. The GCCP documents formed a major basis for a GLP advisory document for in vitro studies published by the OECD (2005).
Under the leadership of CAAT, two workshops were held in 2015 in Baltimore, USA, and Konstanz, Germany, as part of the transatlantic think tank for toxicology (t4) (Pamies et al., 2017, 2018). These workshop reports were utilized by a CAAT-initiated expert drafting group to produce a revised version of GCCP called GCCP 2.0, which is available now as supplement to the article just published in ALTEX to initiate an open public consultation prior to final publication. Over the last few years, a Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC GCCP 2.0) has been formed. We invite all interested stakeholders to join the SAC. Applicants will be able to apply from the day of the publication of this paper and are expected to be bona fide cell culture practitioners. Please send an email to:

All members of the SAC will have the opportunity to suggest revisions of the text, starting in September 2020 and ending November 2020.

The techniques available for in vitro cell culture have developed dramatically in the last decade. The need to find cheaper, faster, humanized and more mechanistic approaches have been incentives for employing these methods in many areas such as toxicology, drug development and disease studies. A key problem is that there is too often a lack of quality control when using these methods. These have raised awareness of quality problems in cell culture experiments, of which the most frequent and serious impact on quality of research and products are cross-contamination and microbial infection. Failure to adopt GCCP in laboratories significantly increases the risk of generating erroneous data, withdrawal of publications, loss of scientific reputation, failed patent applications, wasted resources, laboratory worker infections, and exposure of host institutes to legal liability

The vision of the GCCP 2.0 collaboration is to establish, promote and educate good cell culture practices in the in vitro biology field. In the last two years GCCP 2.0 has been involved in the organization of a number of workshops:

  • ESTIV / CAAT / IVTIP Pre-Congress Workshop. Good Cell Culture Practices. Estiv2016. October 2016.  Juan-les-Pins, France
  • t4 workshop. GCCP 2.0: re-vision and update of  Good Cell Culture Practices. November 30th - December 2nd, 2015. Steigenberger Inselhotel, Konstanz, Germany
  • t4 workshop. Good Cell Culture Practices for Pluripotent Stem Cells. June 1-2 2015, Baltimore, MD.

Information Day

Information Day on “Good Cell Culture Practice: human stem cells and organoids” December 3rd 2015. Konstanz, Germany

Congress Communications

  • ESTIV 2016. 21st century cell culture for 21st century toxicology. October 17-20, 2016. Juan-les-Pins, France. Oral presentation.
  • The 1st Pan-American Conference for Alternative Methods. April 12-14, 2016, Baltimore, MD.  Good Cell Culture Practice. Oral presentation.
  • The 5th Annual Meeting of the ASCCT. September 29-30, 2016. Research Triangle Park, NC. Good Cell Culture Practice (GCCP 2.0) - Developments towards the 21st Century. Oral presentation.

Pre-review Publications

  • Eskes et al., Good Cell Culture Practices & In Vitro Toxicology. Submitted
  • Kleensang et al., Erratum: Genetic variability in a frozen batch of MCF-7 cells invisible in routine authentication affecting cell function. Sci Rep. 2016 Sep 14;6:33011. doi: 10.1038/srep33011.
  • Pamies D and Hartung T. 21st Century Cell Culture for 21st Century Toxicology. Chemical Research in Toxicology. ID: tx-2016-00269e.R1.
  • Pamies et al. Good Cell Culture Practice for stem cells and stem-cell-derived models. ALTEX. 2016 Aug 23. doi:10.14573/altex.1607121.
  • Marx et al. Biology-inspired microphysiological system approaches to solve the prediction dilemma of substance testing. ALTEX. 2016;33(3):272-321. doi:10.14573/altex.1603161.

While the GCCP secretary is currently held by CAAT, however, the goal is to become an international collaboration between industry, academia, and government. The collaboration is currently organized into two main groups; the Steering Committee (Anna Bal-Price, Sandra Coecke, Thomas Hartung, Dave Allen, Gerhard Gstraunthaler, Marcel Leist, and David Pamies) that decides the direction of the collaboration, and the Scientific Committee (16 current members) that helps to develop the activities of the organization.

Future Activities

The GCCP collaboration has begun to develop the 2.0 guidelines (with a goal of publication by the end of 2017). Other communications in preparation include:

  • EUROTOX2017. ESTIV GIVIMP/GCCP session. September 10-13, 2017. Bratislava, Slovakia.
  • 10th World Congress on Alternatives and Animal Use in the Life Sciences
  • Education: online course on “Quality Assurance and Good Practices” as part of the Evidence-based Toxicology online course