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Symbiotic nuclei were a part of Time Lord cells that allowed for safe time travel. They had some connection to the Rassilon Imprimatur, with which all time vessels needed to be primed for time travel. (TV: The Two Doctors) The nuclei connected a Time Lord's mind to their TARDIS, meaning ships like the Master's TARDIS and the Doctor's TARDIS also possessed symbiotic nuclei. (AUDIO: The Evil One) TARDIS nuclei constantly updated the Matrix about their pilots. (AUDIO: The Brink of Death)
Symbiotic nuclei also enabled a Time Lord's ability to regenerate. (PROSE: Love and War) It was believed that a Time Lord could only regenerate twelve times because the nuclei could only divide so much. The Valeyard, however, claimed this was imposed by Rassilon to prevent a thirteenth regeneration and keep Time Lords from immortality. (AUDIO: Trial of the Valeyard)