Frequently asked questions

We are still working on the FAQs and will update them continuously.

About Cellseeker
What is Cellseeker?

Cellseeker is a web-based suite of applications designed from scientists for scientists who work with cells. Starting with Cellseeker Inventory, a free cell banking tool, more applications will follow to support daily cell culture work and scientific exchange.

What is the Cellseeker Inventory?

Cellseeker Inventory is a database which allows you to manage the cell collection of your laboratory and to inventory your stocks and cell banks. The application is tailor-made for cells, cloud-based and free of charge. Cellseeker Inventory is structured in three interacting levels of data.

  1. Collection of Cells. Here you create a profile for all the cells which are used in your laboratory including culture conditions, growth properties, and cell characteristics. You can upload photos, reference publications, and manage your biosafety documentation. Each cell line is identified by a unique cell ID.
  2. Cell Banks. For each of the entries in your cell collection you can register numerous cryopreserved cell banks. Each cell bank or individual stock will by identified by a lot-number and you can add further specifications like passage number, cell density per aliquot, as well as quality control data.
  3. Inventory: Your cell banks may consist of multiple vials which you can inventory at unique positions in Cellseeker. The virtual storage tanks built in Cellseeker exactly reflect the actual location in you real tanks. You can check-in and check-out vials from your inventory to always have a correct overview about your stocks.
Is there any charge for the use of Cellseeker?

Cellseeker Inventory is free of charge for non-profit use. With the free plan you will have unlimited access to all functions of Cellseeker Inventory, but your public cells may be listed in Cellseeker Sourcing, a global sourcing platform to facilitate scientific exchange. There are also commercial accounts available which allow you to exclude proprietary cell lines from a listing in Cellseeker Sourcing.

What is Cellseeker Sourcing?

Cells which are registered with Cellseeker Inventory may be included in the Cellseeker Sourcing data base of globally used cell lines. Cellseeker Sourcing will be publicly accessible to facilitate the exchange of research cell lines for partnering and collaborations. If you do not want a cell line to be published, you can mark up to 5% of your cell collection as “private” to exclude them from Cellseeker Sourcing. If you want to exclude more, you can at any time switch to one of Cellseeker’s fee-based accounts where you are free to assign cells for partnering or to keep them all private.

What information will be published in Cellseeker Sourcing?

All your information in Cellseeker Inventory is protected from unauthorized access. Only very limited, non-confidential information is copied to Cellseeker Sourcing which are the name of the cells, basic properties, and potential applications. No information about sequences, images, data, details of specific modifications or detailed properties, or any information about cell banks or the actual use of the cells will be published. Cellseeker will not disclose your identity or affiliation with the cells. For more detail please refer to our Privacy Policy.

What is Cellseeker’s business model if it is for free?

Cellseeker Inventory is free and will always be free for the public version. We guarantee this.

The free public version of Cellseeker Inventory will be mainly sponsored by advertisements and commercial partnerships. Advertisements of cell culture suppliers can be targeted to be highly relevant for the users. Commercial partnership means that we may share statistical data with suppliers, e.g. about the use of different culture media. This statistical data will be over all users and not broken down to an individual lab, of course. We will never disclose your private data (please see our Privacy Policy for details).

Cell lines entered into Cellseeker Inventory may be published in a global data base of academic cell lines. While this is usually appreciated by academic groups industry clients might prefer the professional or premium version of Cellseeker to keep the existence of their cells confidential. For these there will be a charge which also helps to sponsor the free version for academic users.

Profile, Users and Account
Who can set-up an account?

Basically, everyone can set up an individual account for your work group or department.  However, if you are sharing the cell collection of your laboratory with others you might want to agree with your team who will set-up and administer the account for all of you. After that you can register more users and assign different roles to them.

Can I assign different rights to different users?

As you probably have various responsibilities in your laboratory, you can assign different predefined roles to the individual users. While a manager of the cell collection will be allowed to make changes to all entries and can approve or block the use of certain cell banks, a standard user can only …. You can also provide access to temporary students or external collaboration partners which can be limited to certain entries in your inventory. For an overview about the different user rights in Cellseeker Inventory please refer to ‚Rights & Roles‘.

Cell Collection
Are there particular guidelines how to name my cells?

No, you are free to name your cells as you want to. However, we strictly recommend following some general rules and chose a short but descriptive name which includes basic information on the cell type, the origin, and the genetic modification. This will make Cellseeker Inventory a more powerful tool for you to use.

What does it mean to mark a cell as 'private'?

Cells which are entered into Cellseeker Inventory may be listed in Cellseeker Sourcing, a public global data base which will be built to support the scientific exchange. However, you might have cells which you do not want to make public. You can mark up to 5% of all cells in your collection as “private” by checking the respective box. These cells will be excluded from the listing in Cellseeker Sourcing. If you signed-up for a fee-based commercial account, the box will be checked by default and all your cells will be excluded from the listing. You can of course uncheck the box to include selected cell in the public data base.

See also: What is Cellseeker Sourcing? What information will be posted in Cellseeker Sourcing?

What does it mean to mark a cell as 'for partnering'?

Cells which are marked “for partnering” by checking the respective box will be specifically highlighted when listed in Cellseeker Sourcing. This will make it easier for potential partners to find a cell line they are looking for. To be marked for partnering, the cells must fulfill some minimal requirements. The cells must be unique and developed by your lab, essential details must have been entered, and there has to be at least one quality-controlled cell bank of the cells registered in the inventory. Of course, a cell lines cannot be marked as “private” and “for partnering” at the same time.

See also: What does it mean to mark a cell as “private”?  What information will be published in Cellseeker Sourcing?

Does Cellseeker includes information from other databases?

Cellseeker will also source information from other public data bases like Cellosaurus, cell depositories, and publications to align with and complete your cell entries.

Inventory
Can I freely choose the structure of my virtual storage in Cellseeker?

Cellseeker Inventory allows you to flexibly simulate multiple storage devices that follow the most common structure. A tank or freezer may contain multiple racks or receptacles where each has numerous boxes or of tube-holders of different size.

What is the Cell-ID and the Lot number?

Each cell you register in Cellseeker will be automatically assigned a unique number which unambiguously identifies such cells independently of the name you give the cells. Although you may amend the name of the cells the Cell-ID will not change. The lot number defines a set of cryopreserved aliquots prepared from a certain batch of cells at given time. The lot number can be freely chosen by you but should be unique. You cannot assign the same number twice. As a recommendation you can use a combination of the freezing date, the acronym of the operator and a serial number to uniquely define your cryopreserved stocks.

Is there a possibility to import my existing data?

Yes, if the information can be provided in form of a CSV-file the data can be imported into Cellseeker Inventory after a few adjustments. You can find further details on Data Import or  contact our service team at support@cellseeker.org .

Can I freely choose the terms I enter into the fields?

In general, yes. However, for many fields, e.g. species, tissue, growth, medium and many more, we have predefined a list of terms you can chose from in a drop-down menu. This will help to better structure your data and will improve your experience with Cellseeker. If you miss a specific term you can add custom values at the end of the list. Under preferences you can manage, amend, and exchange your custom values.

How can I change the name of a tank?

From the ‚dashboard‘ go to ‚inventory‘ and double click on the name of the tank you want to change. Enter a new name in the pop up and save.

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