Product News: New Media Improves Performance in Latest Pluripotent Stem Cell Applications

Gibco™ StemFlex™ Medium designed to overcome conventional challenges in stem cell research

03 Feb 2017


A newly launched pluripotent stem cell (PSC) medium has been designed to respond to the latest challenges in stem cell research, showing improved flexibility and performance in modern applications like gene editing, single cell passaging and reprogramming. Researchers in these fields no longer have to adjust protocols or experiments to use media originally formulated for older applications.

Thermo Fisher Scientific announced the launch of the Gibco™ StemFlex™ Medium today, along with key data and user experiences from beta testing sites speaking to the improvements the medium brings to the field.

Media for culturing PSCs were originally formulated more than one decade ago, when research was focused on reproducibly deriving and maintaining stem cells. Today’s applications are more complex and come with challenging cell culture requirements. When run with traditional media products, performance issues arise.

“Novel stem cell applications put an unprecedented amount of stress on stem cells, and cell recovery can be poor with standard media,” said Amy Butler, vice president, general manager of cell biology at Thermo Fisher Scientific. “Using adjusted protocols may mitigate these problems, but it may also have an impact on downstream pluripotency. We formulated the Gibco StemFlex Medium to alleviate the compromises researchers have had to make based on available media and desired applications.”

With its new formulation, the Gibco™ StemFlex™ Medium tests better than standard media on metrics important to novel stem cell applications. The medium achieves up to a two-fold faster stem cell recovery following gene editing; it achieves as much as a five-fold improvement in clonal expansion following single cell passaging in the absence of ROCK inhibitor; consistently maintains pluripotency with weekend-free feeding schedules; and it also can be used for multiple matrices and passing reagents. With these gains in performance and flexibility, the medium enables progress in areas at the forefront of PSC research, including genome editing, single cell analysis, and reprogramming.

“PSC lines generated from patients can be cultured in common stem cell medium, but I find they attach much better to matrices with the Gibco StemFlex Medium,” said Björn Brändl, a staff scientist at The Zentrum für Integrative Psychiatrie (ZIP) part of the Universitätsklinikum Schleswig-Holstein in Kiel, Germany. “For genome editing experiments, I have found that StemFlex is a good medium since it enables robust culturing of single cell PSC from control and patient-derived cells.”

Gibco™ StemFlex™ Medium and the Gibco™ CultureOne™ Supplement, which launched last November, are the latest additions to Thermo Fisher’s stem cell research product portfolio. Gibco™ CultureOne™ Supplement is designed for scientists differentiating human neural stem cells (NSCs) to neurons, and enables superior neuronal cell cultures by eliminating more than 75 percent of contaminating neural progenitor cells compared to conventional differentiation methods. The resulting cultures of evenly distributed, differentiated neurons enable improved downstream assays, accelerated neuronal maturation and seamless maintenance for five weeks or more. For researchers going from PSCs to neurons, the combination of Gibco™ StemFlex™ Medium and CultureOne™ Supplement removes the challenges of culturing cells and enables an improved downstream experience.

The Gibco™ StemFlex™ Medium and Gibco™ CultureOne™ Supplement are for research use only.

For more information on Gibco™ StemFlex™ Medium see thermofisher.com/stemflex.