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Serum-Free Media

CHO Platform

   Chinese Hamster Ovary (CHO) Cell Media
CHO Medium Supplements

Chinese Hamster Ovary (CHO) Cell Media


Chinese Hamster Ovary (CHO) cells are of great interest for bioprocessing and pharmaceutical research and development. These cells are robust in culture and are able to produce a variety of recombinant glycoproteins at high levels on a large scale. However, different CHO cell clones often possess diverse nutritional requirements that are unique to each clone. As a result, medium optimization for CHO cells can be very challenging, often requiring the development of a custom medium for each particular clone.

The traditional approach to media development involves titrating each medium component individually to determine the optimal level of supplementation. This process involves extensive testing conditions and can take significant amounts of time. To address this, Sigma-Aldrich has developed a number of tools that allow you to develop optimized media formulations for your specific CHO clones faster and easier than ever before.

CHO Medium and Media Optimization Kits

Medium Selection Information

The FDA requires that all new drugs meet stringent safety requirement.  The potential for infecting a patient with an adventitious biological agent that contaminates a recombinant protein drug is among their greatest concerns. The most likely potential sources of biological contamination of these drugs manufactured in well designed cGMP facility are the animal-derived components and supplements used in the cell culturing process.

Production of recombinant proteins using CHO cells is a complex process.  The growth and productivity of a cell line (derived from a cell bank) must be fully characterized and understood in the context of the specific protein being developed.  Furthermore, no single medium formulation will meet the requirements of all situations. It is frequently necessary to balance the need for maximum performance with the regulatory agencies requirements for safety.  Sigma's CHO formulations offer choices ranging from fully supplemented medium to fully defined medium.  This strikes a good balance between maximal productivity and maximal safety from adventitious agents.

Product C 1707 contains animal-derived components.  Products C 5467, C8730 and C9098 contain no animal-derived components.  Product C 4726 contains no animal-derived components and is also free from any chemically-< components, like plant hydrolysates.  Customers who are indifferent to the presence of animal-derived components may want to try C 1707 as a starting point.  Customers who would like to work animal-component free should start with C 5467 in their initial trials.

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CHO Medium Supplements


Chinese Hamster Ovary (CHO) cell expression systems are complex, and are typically modified (or optimized) to meet the specific priorities and needs of the biotechnologist.  In addition to offering the above varieties of CHO media, Sigma provides supplements that you may find useful in your culture system. The table below identifies some of the most useful supplements for your evaluation and use.

Other important potential supplements such as the transferrins, albumins, fetuins, and protein hydrolysates are offered by Sigma in many varieties.  Please use the Sigma search engine to find these product families.

Related Supplements

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