Cheap HeLa

Anyone know where I can get HeLa cells for cheap(or free^_^)? No specific cell line, but for like $20 or so.


  • Any help?

  • Such a price seems highly unlikely as they usually go for hundreds of dollars.

  • Exactly. To be honest I really would only need a little bit to start then grow a colony(right word?). Then I can use what I need and sell/donate to others who need it.
  • Yeah. If you're friends with someone who works in a lab with them you might be able to convince them to start you a culture.

  • do you have the equipment for that? growing mammalian cells isn't like growing bacteria. Yes you can grow more, but only if you have all the gear

  • edited October 2017

    I don't currently have a setup but it would take about ten minutea to plan out. I don't have any friends in labs but if anyone here did (or could find one) that could really help. Before I were to set anything up I would need to know how much i am starting with. If I can get it done and grow some I could probably setup a sorta bank for anyone who wants some for testing toxicity, or treatments, or whatever.

  • Ten minutes? There's a great manual regarding setting up for mammalian cells. I'll try to find you a link but it's pretty much a situation where if you're sweating the cost of the cells then you don't have the equipment to keep them alive. I mean I wasted that much just trying to make a diy laminar flow hood that turned out to be shit.
  • edited October 2017

    Yeah I've read up and have a pretty good idea what needs to be done.

  • To be clear about this, I know what I need and will be able to set that up, my only problem is the starting culture.

  • setting up a lab for mammalian will cost thousands of dollars. Even the media to keep the cells alive can be several hundred. The laminar flow hood alone will cost a bucket load. Not to mention the co2 incubator. The cells are one of the least expensive parts. If you've got everything else, getting cells should be easy

  • I can get the lab setup. I just need to cells. The media is $6. I can build the hood for like $20. A box with a filter and ethanol reservoir.

  • First off, if you can get media for $6 please share your source cause $6 DMEM would be great. A packet of DMEM usually costs $20-1000 depending on what kind you get, not to mention all the other stuff you'll need. Because remember, you'll need to passage your cells regularly. So you need trypsin, and PBS. And all your buffers and your antibiotic solution to keep your cells sterile. You'll also need a CO2 incubator since you can't just use a regular incubator because you need to keep the the oxygen content low. Which means you also need a co2 tank. The hood can't be built for 20 bucks. Like Cassox said, he tried and it didn't work well. I also couldn't do it for 20 bucks. If I could, I'd have done so. You need a proper laminar flow hood which will run a minimum of 1000, but probably more. You need a water bath to prewarm your solutions. Oh and all the fancy prepacked pipettes. etc etc etc There's literally a huge list of stuff you need. And of all of it, the cells are cheap comparatively. And ok, lets say you can hack together all of that and found some magical place to buy all your reagents. What do you plan on doing with the cells? Like why hela cells? Why not chicken cells? Or insect cells? With insect cells you can theoretically isolate them yourself and not need to worry about buying them.

    I'm not trying to be a dick, but I'm not sure you grasp the difficulty of this. I'm sure there are some who could legitimately hack all that together and manage to keep some cells alive. But without the proper tools it'd be a nightmare.

  • Bumping to hear more about 6 dollar DMEM

  • edited October 2017

    $6 for 500ml there is more under the same category but thats just the cheapest.

    Again I just need help finding cells, I can cover the rest.
    I get your concerns but I can rig up what I need.

    As for reasons I like a challenge.
    I could use different types of cells, but hela is the most widely used and the cheapest I could find.
    Can you elaborate or give me a source on the insect cell isolation?

  • Here's a protocol for hemocyte isolation from caterpillars

  • You would have slim chances of starting a culture Mammalian cells for $20 unless you already had access to a pretty well equipped lab, and happened to stumble across a small sample sized culture for cheap.

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