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Mesenchymal Stem Cell FBS, Media, and Culture

Mesenchymal stem cell overview

Figure 1. Mesenchymal stem cell overview.Trilineage differentiation of multipotent human mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) includes differentiation into osteoblasts, adipocytes and chondrocytes.

Human mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are multipotent adult stem cells. MSCs have the capacity for multi-lineage differentiation, giving rise to a variety of mesenchymal phenotypes such as osteoblasts, adipocytes, and chondrocytes. Mesenchymal stem cells usually reside in the bone marrow stroma, but have also been found in adipose, liver, spleen, peripheral blood, umbilical cord blood, and other mesenchymal tissues. MSCs have the capacity for self-renewal over long periods of time and the ability to differentiate into specialized cells. This has led to an increased interest in understanding the biology and therapeutic potential of MSC cultures by researchers.

We offer a broad range of tools and technologies, such as optimized expansion and differentiation media, to culture mesenchymal stem cells. Our collection also includes low passage MSC lines from various tissues, specialty FBS, and a broad range of MSC related antibodies and cellular dyes.

Mesenchymal Stem Cell Lines

Our extensive collection of mesenchymal stem cell lines provides primary cell lines from multiple tissue sources. These human tissue sources include bone marrow, adipose, and umbilical cord tissue-sourced MSCs. We also offer MSC lines from human embryonic stem cells (ES) and rat bone marrow tissue.

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Human mesenchymal stem cell markers

Figure 2. Human MSC markers.Human MSCs express H-CAM (CD44) (A), THY-1 (CD90) (B), and STRO-1 (C). Nuclei were visualized with DAPI (blue). Expression of hematopoietic stem cell markers CD19 and CD14 and endothelial marker CD146 were not observed (data not shown).

Mesenchymal Stem Cell Expansion Media

MSC Expansion Media

Our collection of MSC qualified media includes a variety of high performing complete media for expansion of mesenchymal stem cells. From low-serum to xeno-free media options, we offer a solution to every type of MSC researcher. To learn how to expand MSCs, click here.

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Our validated MSC differentiation media portfolio is optimized for differentiation into a variety of mesenchymal lineages. The collection includes media designed for the directed differentiation of MSCs into osteogenic (bone), adipogenic (fat), or chondrogenic (cartilage) lineages. For more information on how to differentiate MSCs, click here.

PLTMax® Human Platelet Lysate

A Superior Alternative to FBS for Human MSC Cultures

With the increasing interest and utilization of human cellular therapy, PLTMax® Human Platelet Lysate meets the need for a research grade cell culture supplement. The FBS alternative is human derived, serum-free, and cost effective for human mesenchymal stem cell cultures.

Application Note: PLTMax® Human Platelet Lysate (hPL): A Superior Serum-Free Media Supplement for Robust Mesenchymal Stem Cell Expansion

Features and Benefits:

  • Increased cell growth kinetics vs. FBS supplemented media
  • Cost effective alternative to FBS-supplemented serum free media
  • Manufactured to reduce lot-to-lot variation
  • Human derived material applicable for translational research applications
  • Each of the donor units are tested for infectious diseases such as HIV-1, HIV-2, HCV, and HBsAg, among others. 
PLTMax Human Platelet Lysate
PLTMax supports better growth of hMSCs than DMEM + FBS

Figure 3. PLTMax supports better growth of hMSCs than DMEM + FBSA: Growth of hMSCs cultured in αMEM supplemented with 5 % HPL or 10 % FBS as compared to DMEM + 10 % FBS over 4 passages in T150 flasks, or B: in duplicate 125 mL spinner flasks f or 7 days, demonstrating enhanced growth in αMEM + HPL

MSC Qualified Fetal Bovine Serum

Nutrient-rich FBS is required for some stem cell applications. As a widely used cell culture media supplement, there are many different FBS products to choose from. MSC-qualified FBS (ES-020-B) has been screened using a rigorous clonal growth assay to ensure support for multipotent human MSC cultures over multiple passages.

Features and Benefits:

  • Prescreened to validate for use in human MSC growth
  • Lot reservation upon request
Mesenchymal stem cell growth using various FBS sources.

Figure 4.Mesenchymal stem cell growth using various FBS sources.

Human adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells (SCC038) were cultured for three passages in media containing 10% FBS from various suppliers. Population doubling times were calculated at each passage. Media supplemented with ES-020-B produced consistent cell growth characteristics with low doubling times over multiple passages compared with doubling times observed using media containing FBS from other vendors. (Figure 4.)


OsteoMAX-XF™ Differentiation Medium

OsteoMAX-XF™ Differentiation Medium is specially formulated to readily differentiate human MSCs into mature osteocytes as assessed by alizarin red and alkaline phosphatase staining. This proprietary formulation was developed using Plasticell’s CombiCult™, a patented, bead-based, combinatorial technology specially developed for discovery of novel stem cell differentiation protocols.

Learn About Combicult Technology

Application Note: Accelerated Osteocyte Differentiation of Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells in a Novel Xeno-free and Serum-free Osteogenesis Differentiation Media

Features and Benefits:

  • Serum-free, xeno-free, defined medium formulation
  • Rapid, robust, and highly efficient mineralization and bone nodule formation in standard tissue culture system by as early as 7 days of differentiation.
  • Proven to work in 3D BioPrinting applications

“OsteoMAX-XF produces tissue of impressive osteogenic potential, including key bone-specific and mineralization markers. We found we could rapidly fabricate functional, fully human tissue derived from MSCs and the ECM proteins they produce using the NovoGen MMX 3D-Bioprinter”

Dr. Eric Michael David MD JD, Chief Strategy Officer of Organovo

Mineralization kinetics of human bone-marrow derived MSC

Figure 5.Mineralization kinetics of human bone-marrow derived MSC (Product No. SCC034) differentiated in OsteoMAX-XF™ Medium vs. leading competitor osteogenesis media.

Mesenchymal Stem Cell Markers

We offer a variety of positive and negative selection markers, stains, and dyes for MSC imaging and characterization. Browse our Mesenchymal Stem Cell Antibodies here.

Positive Markers: CD105CD73CD90STRO-1
Negative Markers: CD45CD34CD14CD11bCD19HLA-DR

Mesenchymal Stem Cell Related Stains and Dyes:

Alizarin RedOil Red O,  Safranin,  Alcian Blue

Human Mesenchymal Stem Cell Characterization Kit

The Human Mesenchymal Stem Cell Characterization Kit contains a panel of validated positive and negative selection markers for the characterization of the mesenchymal stem cell population in human samples. The kit contains positive antibodies directed against CD44, CD90, STRO-1, and CD146. In addition, two specific hematopoietic antibodies CD14 and CD19.

Immunocytochemical staining of cultured human bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells stained

Figure 6.Immunocytochemical staining of cultured human bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells stained with antibodies provided in the kit. Nuclei of the cells were visualized with DAPI (blue). CD19 and CD14 staining were not present on human mesenchymal stem cells.


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