Cell Culture Media – Select The Right Cell Growth Support for Your Drug Candidate

Consistent Availability, Quality, and Excellent Regulatory Support

Cell culture media is a critical component of an upstream bioprocess and an essential factor in cell viability and performance. Selecting and optimizing the media formulation and feeding strategy during the process development phase is key to a highly productive outcome.

Sartorius' portfolio of cell culture media represents 50 years of experience in specialty media, stem cell media, classical media and a comprehensive range of buffers, reagents, supplements and microcarriers. In addition, Sartorius has established relationships with raw material suppliers to ensure consistent support for your projects.

Find the Right Cell Culture Media System for Your Application

Cell Culture Media Solutions for Your Unique Needs

Sartorius offers a complete portfolio of high-quality media and supplements optimized to support specialized cell types used in protein-based, viral-based, and cell- and gene-based applications. Chemically defined specialty media and complementary feeds, supplements, buffers, freezing solutions and microcarriers simplify your processes.

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A Comprehensive Guide to Finding the Right Cell Culture Media

In this eBook, our experts reveal valuable insights to help you develop an optimal cell culture media strategy for your bioprocess.

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CHO Cell Culture Media

Chemically-defined, high-performing, off-the-shelf culture media and feeds for various mammalian cell lines and applications.

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HEK Cell Culture Media

Ideal for long-term, high-performance suspension culture to produce adeno-associated viruses (AAV) and lentiviruses, viral vector production, as well as for gene therapy application.

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T Cell & Immunotherapy Cell Culture Media

Xeno-free, serum-free media for cultivating various types of immune cells and immunotherapy applications.

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Cell Culture Media & Supplements

Selecting a Specialty Cell Culture Medium for Your Cell Type

Optimized specialty media improve efficiency and simplify your process.

Specialty Media

High-performing specialty media designed to optimize cell proliferation and maintenance, including media for protein-based, viral-based, and cell-based applications.

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Stem Cell Media

Widely tested stem cell media designed to promote highly pluripotent or multipotent stem cells for research and clinical use.

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Classical Media

Classical media produced using well-known formulations and manufactured with the highest-grade raw materials, sourced from qualified and approved suppliers.

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Customized Media & Buffers

Robust and reliable production of customized cell culture media and buffers based on existing formulations or improvement of recipes.

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Reagents & Supplements

Process-controlled reagents and supplements designed to optimize cell attachment, dissociation, growth and propagation under controlled conditions.

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Sterile and ready-to-use animal protein-coated and animal component-free microcarriers to support adherent cell culture growth.

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Buffer Solutions

Buffer Solutions to Optimize Downstream Conditions

Standard and tailored process buffers optimize DSP for proteins, mAbs and vaccines.


Customized Solutions for Your Unique Needs

Sartorius’ customized buffer solutions are ideal for customers with known, desired media composition and outcome expectations.

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Customized Buffer Solutions

Sartorius’ global manufacturing facilities fully meet the highest quality standards and consistently supply powder and liquid buffers.

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Cell Culture Media by Application

Sartorius Has the Right Specialty Cell Culture Medium for Your Project

Choosing a cell culture medium that is optimized for your cell type can improve quality and yield, boosting bioprocess efficiency.

Ready-to-Use CHO Media & Feeds for High Performance

Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells are ideal for therapeutic protein production in biopharmaceutical research and development. Sartorius’ portfolio of CHO Cell Culture Media and Feeds are perfect for protein production using cell lines CHO-DG44, CHO-K1, CHO-S and CHO-GS, and are suitable for full-scale GMP manufacturing.


Well Performing Medium for any CHO Clone

  • For long-term, high-performance growth and protein yield
  • For cell growth and production of recombinant proteins and antibodies

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Robust and Flexible Growth Medium

  • Designed for batch and fed-batch
  • For cell growth and production of recombinant proteins and antibodies
  • Customization available

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Perfect Medium for Transient CHO Cells

  • Compatible with cationic transfection reagents
  • Without L-glutamine, growth hormones, serum, animal components and hydrolysates

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Designed to Foster Maximum Cell Growth and Virus Production

A complete portfolio of media and feed to produce viral vaccines or viral vectors for vaccines, gene therapy and gene-modified cell therapy applications

HEK293 Media

Sartorius HEK media are ideal for long-term, high-performance suspension culture and suitable for research and GMP manufacturing.

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MDCK Media

4Cell® MDCK CD is a specialty medium designed to support Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK) cell growth and infection in suspension.

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Vero Medium

4Cell® NutriVero™ Flex 10 is a chemically defined, serum-free, animal component-free medium designed to support Vero cell growth.

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Enhance Cell Health, Productivity, and Rapid Translation to the Clinic

Sartorius supports your cell and gene therapies with high-quality, defined cell culture media and reagents for immune and stem cells. Sartorius products are compliant with regulatory demands and provide you with the safety, consistency, effectiveness, and reliability that are essential to the success of your projects.

T Cell and Immunotherapy Media

  • Serum-free, xeno-free media for cultivating immune cells
  • Superior performance and reliability from research to clinic

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Stem Cell Media

Unique stem cell media and reagents promote cell maintenance and cell health, allowing smooth transfers to clinical applications.

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Cell Cryopreservation Solutions

High-quality freezing solutions designed and validated for the cryopreservation of cells including stem cells, T cells, and PBMCs.

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FAQs - Cell Culture Media

A primary cell line is produced from a single cell type isolated from tissue and cultured under optimal and controlled conditions. 

Cell medium ingredients include nutrients (both organic and inorganic), vitamins, salts, O2 and CO2 gas phases, proteins (from defined or undefined sources), carbohydrates, cytokines, growth factors, and cofactors.

Media should be changed every 2 to 3 days. However, media is best changed when cell density reaches a healthy level, so this also depends on the growth rate of your cell culture. Most media also contain a pH indicator that changes color to yellow when pH drops, which is a sign of nutrient depletion and waste accumulation.

  1. Serum-containing media - basal media supplemented with undefined biological materials such as serum or cell extracts.
  2. Serum-free, animal component-containing media - basal medium supplemented with defined proteins, growth factors, and cytokines from animal sources;
  3. Serum-free, xeno-free medium - basal media supplemented with defined proteins, growth factors, and cytokines from human origin only.
  4. Animal component-free, chemically defined medium - basal medium composed of material from chemically defined sources.

Cell culture medium provides nutrients and growth factors necessary for cell proliferation. A typical basal cell culture medium is composed of amino acids, carbohydrates, vitamins, inorganic salts, glucose, trace elements, and a buffer system to maintain a stable pH. Traditionally, animal-derived serum is used to supplement basal media to provide a source of growth factors. Now, serum-free, chemically defined formulations are highly favored.

Serum-free media are media designed to grow cells in the absence of animal-derived serum. Serum-free media include chemically defined media, which are free of any animal components or hydrolysates. 

Serum-free media allows cell culture to be performed under a defined set of conditions, limiting batch-to-batch variability. It also simplifies purification and downstream processing.

Xeno, derived from the Greek word “xenos”, means “foreigner.” A xeno-free media is a culture medium with a formulation that only contains human-derived components and not any other species such as bovine or porcine.

Serum-free media are free from any serum (from all animal species) but can include other animal components (such as HSA and BSA), while xeno-free is free of components from non-human animal species but can include human serum.

Each medium should be stored according to the manufacturer’s protocols and recommendations. Most basal media require storage under controlled conditions at 2-10°C, light protected, and secured to avoid degradation and contamination of the components. Once opened and supplemented with additional components under sterile conditions, the medium can typically be stored for 1-4 weeks at 2-8°C and light protected. 

Each medium should be stored according to the manufactured protocols and recommendations. The typical expiration date is within 12-18 months of manufacture. When open and supplemented with other components under sterile conditions, media can generally be stored for 1-4 weeks, at 2-8°C, and protected from light. Classical media supplemented with serum antibiotics can be kept at 4°C for up to 4 weeks; serum-free media can be kept for up to 2 weeks.

Bleach should be added to unused media at ≥10% final concentration to treat any microorganism present before disposal.

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