Culturing HEK 293 FT cells

Scope of the method

The Method relates to
  • Human health
The Method is situated in
  • Basic Research
  • Translational - Applied Research
Type of method
  • In vitro - Ex vivo
This method makes use of
  • Human derived cells / tissues / organs
Specify the type of cells/tissues/organs
Human embryonic kidney 293 FT cells


Method keywords
  • Culturing
  • Transfection
  • Viral production
  • High viral titer
Scientific area keywords
  • Viral production
  • High viral titer
  • Clinical translation
  • Cellular reprogramming
Method description

Human embryonic kidney (HEK) 293 FT cells is a celline that is very easy to culture and is used to obtain high viral titers. “293” is a reference to the 293th experiment wherein the cell line was discovered. A transfection with an adenovirus type 5 DNA fragment took place, causing the cell line to express E1A adenoviral gene. This stimulates the transcription of specific viral genes, resulting in a high production of viral proteins. “T” means that the HEK293 cell line is transfected with the SV40 T antigen, also stimulating the production of viral proteins. “F” stands for a fast growing HEK 293T strain with a high transfection efficiency.

Lab equipment
  • Biosafety cabinet;
  • Microscope;
  • Incubator.
Method status
  • History of use

Pros, cons & Future potential

  • High viral titer;
  • Easy to culture;
  • Fast growing;
  • Easy to transfect.

Use of serum.

References, associated documents and other information

Associated documents

Contact person

Matthias Rombaut


Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB)
Pharmaceutical and Pharmacological Sciences
In Vitro Toxicology and Dermato-Cosmetology