Instituto de Salud Carlos III (Spain)

The Instituto de Salud Carlos III (ISCIII) was created in 1986 as an autonomous public institution attached to the Spanish Ministry of Health. Its main objective is the promotion and support of research and technological development in the field of biomedicine. The general budget of the ISCIII is revised yearly by the Spanish Parliament and it has been 328.804 millions of Euros for 2007.

In the last years, the ISCIII, now under the dependence of the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation have prioritized stem cell research by means of:

  • An increase of the budgets dedicated to the research in the field.
  • First, modification of the previous legal rules for authorizing research concerned with human embryonic stem cells, and then the elaboration of the Biomedical Research Law, that came into effect on July 4, 2007.
  • Creation of a stem cell bank for research purposes (Banco Nacional de Lineas Celulares, BNCL).
  • Creation of a dedicated Cooperative Research Network on Cell Therapy, with an independent budget.
  • Financial agreements with several Spanish Autonomous Communities to boost the local initiatives on stem cell research.
  • Agreements with international institutions (Salk Institute and British Council) to grant the interchange of scientists doing research on stem cells, cell therapy and regenerative medicine.
  • Organization of annual International Conferences on Stem Cell Research 2005-2008.
Banco Nacional de Líneas Celulares of Spain
Structure and objective

The National Bank of Cell Lines (Banco Nacional de Lineas Celulares, BNLC) is a network structure coordinated from the Instituto de Salud Carlos III (ISCIII), based in Madrid. Currently, the nodes are three, one in Barcelona, another one in Valencia and the central node located in Granada. Its objective is to guaranty the availability of both embryonic and adult human stem cells lines for biomedical research.

Governing principles and quality assurance

The BNCL is a non-profit organization and follows the ethical principles gathered in the international treaties related to biomedical research and human rights, acting in agreement with the principles of objectivity, collaboration, integration, and solidarity.

The BNCL is a branch of the General Subdivision of Research in Cell Therapy and Regenerative Medicine of the ISCIII, and a member of the European Human Embryonic Stem Cell Registry (hESCreg). The Technical Committee of the BNLC is the one in charge of the operational decisions and assurance of the fulfillment of ethical requisites and scientific quality in those research projects for which the lines are yielded.

What lines will be deposited in the BNLC?

The BNLC will store and supply lines of human stem cells, either embryonic or adult, with the only purpose of biomedical investigation. All the derived embryonic lines within the national territory will have to be deposited mandatorily in the BNLC.

What lines are available at the present time?

Information is available at

Who can access to a cell line from the BNLC?

The cell lines can be requested by any investigator, either inside or outside Spain, with a research project evaluated favorably by the Technical Committee of the BNLC.

How to proceed to request a cell line from the BNLC?

It is necessary to fill up the corresponding application form which can be downloaded from the BNLC web page: (, and send it to the following e-mail:

The accession form should be accompanied by the report from the Ethics Committee that evaluated the research project and originals of both documents should be sent also by ordinary mail to the following address:

Banco Nacional de Líneas Celulares (BNLC)
Instituto de Salud Carlos III (ISCIII)
General Subdivision of Investigation in Cell Therapy and Regenerative Medicine
Monforte de Lemos 5, Pab. 5
28029 Madrid, Spain
(For research projects to be carried out in Spain, there also will be necessary an Administrative Authorisation, under the therms of the Biomedical Research Law)