First of its kind in Canada, the Primary Airway Cell Biobank (PACB) is a non-profit facility providing researchers worldwide with standardized, high- quality primary airway cells from healthy lungs and donors with Cystic Fibrosis (CF) and other respiratory diseases.
Highly differentiated primary epithelial cells are considered the gold standard for in vitro studies of airway epithelial physiology, pathophysiology, cell biology, inflammation, mucosal immunity, and for translational research to develop new therapeutics. While immortalized cell lines are used by many laboratories, they lack the genetic variation found in human populations and do not fully differentiate into ciliated, goblet and other cell types found in vivo. Primary cells cultured at the air-liquid interface closely mimic the airway epithelium and are more useful for testing hypotheses related to mechanisms of disease pathogenesis and the preclinical development of new therapeutics.
Primary human bronchial epithelial cells are available from a few commercial vendors, however, our prices are lower and we perform extensive quality control, including routine culture of every batch on porous supports and histological examination after 4 weeks in ALI to assess differentiation, assay of CFTR function in Ussing chambers (forskolin responses with / without pretreatment with a common CFTR corrector and potentiator). Also, every preparation is safety tested by an independent diagnostic lab for HIV-1, HIV-2, Hepatitis A virus, Hepatitis B virus, Hepatitis C virus, Hantavirus Hantaan, SEO (Hantavirus), mycoplasma, human T-cell Lymphotropic virus (HTLV; performed on CF cells only). CF cells are also checked for their CFTR genotype.
Cells distributed by PACB, isolated from a large variety of donors with different genetic backgrounds, provide a vital resource for improving our understanding of CF and other respiratory diseases and for translational research to develop new therapeutic agents.
The PACB is a biobank certified by the UBC Office of Biobank Education and Research Biobank Certification Program.
Not-for-profit facility providing standardized, high-quality primary airway cells from normal and airway diseased donors.
- Cryovials of high quality frozen HBE cells
- Highly-differentiated HBE cells on porous supports
- Primary cell cultures in plastic flasks
- Specialized cell culture media prepared in-house at greatly reduced cost (i.e. BEGM, ALI)
- Transepithelial electrophysiological measurements (i.e. for drug discovery project) can be performed routinely under contract
- Personalized technical support service
- Environmental technologies and related services
- Life sciences, pharmaceuticals and medical equipment
Specialized Labs and Equipment
|Name of specialized lab||
Name of equipment in use
|Description of function|
|Hanrahan Lab||2x Biological Safety Cabinet||Cell culture hood|
|3x Incubators||Cell incubators|
|Automated cell counter Countess™||Cell counter|
|Compound microscope||Cell visualization|
|Benchtop sterilizer||Instrument sterilizer|
|Benchtop centrifuge||Centrifuge for cells|
|Water bath||Warm up media|
|Cryosystem Cryoextra 20||Long term cell storage -180oC|
Private and Public Sector Research Partners
- McGill University
- IRCM (Institut de Recherche Clinique de Montréal)
|Fibrose Kystique, Découverte, Radio Canada||http://ici.radio-canada.ca/tele/decouverte/2014-2015/segments/reportage/994/fibrose-kystique?isAutoPlay=1|
|Cystic fibrosis: promising advances showcased in Montreal, Montreal Gazette||http://montrealgazette.com/news/local-news/cystic-fibrosis-promising-advances-showcased-in-montreal|