Difference Between Adherent and Suspension Cells l Adherent vs Suspension Cells

The key difference between adherent and suspension cells is that the adherent cells need solid support for their growth while the suspension cells do not need solid support for the growth.

A cell is the basic structural and functional unit of an organism. Various research projects require the preparation of cell cultures. Cancer cells, hepatocytes, kidney cells and various microbial cells are some of the common cells that use in cell culturing. In all cell culturing processes, it is necessary to have a primary cell culture to make the cell lines. When preparing cell cultures, cells exist in two forms either as adherent cells or as suspension cells. In adherent cells, primary culture cells need solid support to attache. Therefore, they are anchorage-dependent cells. But in suspension cells, primary culture cells do not need solid support to attach. They submerge in the liquid media. Hence, they are not anchorage dependent. In overall, the key difference between adherent and suspension cells is the anchorage dependence of the cells.


1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What are Adherent Cells
3. What are Suspension Cells
4. Similarities Between Adherent and Suspension Cells
5. Side by Side Comparison – Adherent vs Suspension Cells in Tabular Form
6. Summary

What are Adherent Cells?

Adherent cell lines are the cells that are anchorage dependent. Therefore, these cells require stable support, which is called adherent, for their growth. Most of the cells derived from vertebrate cells (except hematopoietic cells) are anchorage dependent. Therefore, maintenance of most of the vertebrate cells requires an adherent that yields a steady growth of those cells.