Cell Culture Media Supplements

Media supplements are classical media additives that can improve mammalian cell growth and viability under serum-free or low serum conditions. R&D System manufactures serum-free cell culture media supplements that support commonly-used laboratory cell lines as well as for more specialized cells, such as primary neurons, stem cells, and organoids. All of our supplements are produced, validated, and qualified for performance consistency by our in-house quality team, relieving you of unnecessary batch-to-batch screening. Stop worrying about your media and to start getting optimal cell growth and differentiation!

General Use Media Supplements

N21-MAX Media Supplements

N21-MAX is an optimized media supplement that improves upon the formulations of standard B27 and NS21 supplements. It provides a serum-free and defined supplement for maturing cultured primary neurons, culturing organoids, and differentiating pluripotent stem cells.

N-2 Media Supplements

N-2 supplements provide a defined and serum-free supplement for culturing primary neurons. pluripotent stem cell-derived neural progenitor cells, and various other stem cell differentiation and organoid culture protocols.

ITS Media Supplements

Insulin-Transferrin-Selenium (ITS) Media Supplements reduce or eliminate the need for animal serum additiona to cell culture media. Our defined ITS media supplements are optimized to support consistent cell proliferation under low serum conditions.

L-Glutamine and GlutaminePlus

L-glutamine is an amino acid supplement that provides additional nutrient support for cells and optimizes viability and growth. GlutaminePlus is the stable form of L-glutamine, resulting more consistent delivery of l-glutamine to cells and better prevention of ammonium build-up in media.


Human plasma-derived Holo-transferrin is a common supplement that facilitates iron transfer to cultured cells. Holo-transferrin facilitates the delivery of cytosolic iron through a receptor-mediated process.

Supplements for Specialized Cell Culture

Serum-free media supplements improve cell health and culture consistency of specialized cells and tissues, like neurons, stem cells, and organoids. By providing defined and specific formulations, serum-free media supplements enable researchers to optimize culture conditions without worrying about unknown variables associated with animal-derived serum supplements.

Pluripotent stem cell derived neurons cultured using neural media supplements

Figure 1: Pluripotent stem cell-derived Neurons were derived and matured using N-2 MAX Media Supplement and N21-MAX Media Supplement, respectively. Neurons were express N-Cadherin (red), beta III tubulin (green), and counterstained with DAPI (blue).

Neural Media Supplements

Serum-free and defined media supplements are used to improve cell viability and maturation of cultured primary and stem cell-derived neurons. N-2 MAX and N21-MAX are neural media supplements that improve upon the published N1 and B27/NS21 formulations, respectively. They excel in performance and maintain culture consistency of cultured neurons.

Organoid Media Supplements

Serum-free, defined media supplements are used for establishing and culturing adult stem cell-derived and pluripotent stem cell-derived organoids. With high performance consistency supplements, such as N-2 MAX and N21-MAX, improve protocol reliability and minimize experimental variability of organoid culture.

Mesenchymal Stem Cell Media Supplements

Media supplements are used for the expansion and differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells. We’ve derived specific media supplements for the MSC growth and differentiation into osteocytes, chondrocytes, and adipocytes.

Methylcellulose for Hematopoietic Stem Cells

Methylcellulose is used in the colony forming assay for hematopoietic stem cell cells. We offer concentrated, standard, and growth factor supplemented methylcellulose to optimize human, mouse, and rat hematopoietic stem cell growth and differentiation in the colony forming assay.


Cryopreservation is an essential step in cell culture. It enables research to maintain cells at a low passage number and reduce the risk of contamination by microbes and other cell types. The best cryopreservation solutions will minimize cell death post-thaw to enable rapid recovery and re-establishment of cultured cells.

Recovery of stem cells cryopreserved using CryoDefend-Stem Cells

Figure 2: Viability Following Cryopreservation in CryoDefend Stem Cells. G01V human embryonic stem cells were frozen in cryopreservation media from two different competitors or CryoDefend Stem Cells Media (Catalog # CCM018) at 1 x 106 cells/cryovial and stored in liquid nitrogen for one week. BG01V human embryonic stem cells were then thawed, counted (blue bars), and resuspended in Mouse Embryonic Fibroblast (MEF) Conditioned Media (Catalog # AR005) containing Recombinant Human FGF basic (Catalog # 4114-TC). The resuspended cells were plated into one well of a 6-well plate and after four days in culture, the cells were harvested and counted (red bars). The error bars indicate the standard deviation of triplicate samples.

Cell Freezing (Cryopreservation) Media

Ready-to-use solution of standard cryopreservation formula. Contains 90% fetal bovine serum and 10% DMSO.

CryoDefend® - Cell Lines

Defined, protein-free cryopreservation solution that minimizes cell death and improves recover of cultured cells, including both common cell lines and primary cells.

CryoDefend - Stem Cells

Uses a defined, protein-free cryopreservation formulation to optimize recovery of pluripotent stem cells and cortical stem cells.

StemXVivo® Serum-Free MSC Freezing Media

Freezing media containing DMSO and defined factors that optimize the recovery of cryopreserved human, mouse, and rat mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs).