Mesenchymal Stem Cell Culture

Human mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are adult stem cells, which have the capacity for multi-lineage differentiation, giving rise to a variety of mesenchymal phenotypes such as osteoblasts (bone), adipocytes (fat), and chondrocytes (cartilage). 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. Due to their capacity for self-renewal over long periods of time and the ability to differentiate into specialized cells, interest in understanding the biology of MSC cultures has increased, especially for their therapeutic potential for a variety of diseases.

We offer a broad range of tools and technologies to culture mesenchymal stem cells including low passage MSC lines from various tissues, optimized expansion and differentiation media and a broad range or MSC related antibodies and cellular dyes.


New Webinar: Serum Alternatives for Adult Stem Cell Expansion

In this webinar, Allan Dietz, Ph.D., Scientific Director of the Human Cell Therapy Laboratory (HCTL) at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota will describe considerations for the effective use of PLTMax® in planar and bioreactor-based expansion, and the potential for how this unique reagent will change approaches to cell culture.

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 Mesenchymal Stem Cell Lines

Ordering Info

Product No. Description
SCC034 Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells (Bone Marrow)
SCC036 Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells (derived from hES cells)
SCC038 Human Adipose Mesenchymal Stem Cells
SCR027 Rat Mesenchymal Stem Cells (Bone Marrow)


Human mesenchymal stem cells 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 Media

MSC Expansion Media

We offer a variety of optimized and high performing complete mesenchymal stem cell expansion media. From low-serum to GMP compliant media options, we offer a solution to every type of MSC researcher.

Low Serum Xeno-Free GMP Grade
Human Mesenchymal-LS Expansion Medium Human Mesenchymal-XF Expansion Medium Stemline® Mesenchymal Stem Cell Expansion Medium
Low FBS (2%) cell culture media for human mesenchymal stem cells. Complete Xeno-free medium that is free of animal-derived components. Produced in a GMP state-of-the-art facility with an available Device Master File (DMF).

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 that 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 serum free media
  • Manufactured to reduce lot-to-lot variation
  • Stable supply and price
  • Human derived material applicable for translational research applications

PLTMax supports better growth of hMSCs than DMEM + FBS. A: 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

Product No. Description
SCM141 PLTMax Human Platelet Lysate, 100ml
SCM142 PLTMax Human Platelet Lysate, 500ml
SCM151 PLTGold Human Platelet Lysate (Heparin-Free), 100ml
SCM152 PLTGold Human Platelet Lysate (Heparin-Free), 500ml

MSC Qualified Fetal Bovine Serum

For stem cell applications where nutrient-rich FBS is required, we now offer mesenchymal stem cell qualified fetal bovine serum (ES-020-B). To reduce lot-to-lot variability, each lot of FBS is extensively screened and qualified to support human MSC cultures using a rigorous clonal growth assay.

MSC Differentiation Media

Osteocyte Adipocyte Chondrocyte
OsteoMAX-XF Osteogenesis Differentiation Medium AdipoMAX Adipogenesis Differentiation Medium ChondroMAX Chondrogenesis Differentiation Medium

Osteogenesis Differentiation Medium

EMD Millipore’s OsteoMAX-XF™ Differentiation Medium is specially formulated to readily differentiate human mesenchymal stem cells 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 (Product No. SCC034) differentiated in OsteoMAX-XF™ Medium vs. leading competitor osteogenesis media.

 Mesenchymal Stem Cell Markers

Mesenchymal Stem Cell Markers

The Mesenchymal and Tissue Stem Cell Committee of the International Society for Cellular Therapy have proposed minimal criteria to define human MSC including plasticware-adherence, surface marker expression and tri-lineage differentiation ability.

Minimal criteria for defining multipotent mesenchymal stromal cells. The International Society for Cellular Therapy position statement. Cytotherapy. 2006;8(4):315-7.

Positive Markers: CD105, CD73, CD90, STRO-1

Negative Markers: CD45, CD34, CD14, CD11b, CD19 and HLA-DR

Browse all of our Mesenchymal Stem Cell Antibodies here

Mesenchymal Stem Cell Related Stains and Dyes

Alizarin Red  |  Oil 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.

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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.

Cell Culture