What are the components of cell culture media?
Posted November 6, 2023
The seven main components of cell culture media include: a pH buffering system, a carbon source, a nitrogen source, pH indicator, serum, minerals and vitamins, and antibiotics. The carbon source is the source of energy for the cells and is typically glucose. Other carbon sources can be used such as hexose, fructose, or pyruvate. Glucose is typically used at a concentration of 5.5 mM in cell culture media, as this concentration is close to equal to the glucose levels in blood. A pH buffering system is used to regulate and maintain proper pH levels (typically between 7.2-7.4). Sodium bicarbonate buffer is commonly used for cell culture at 4-10 CO2 levels, and this buffer is non-toxic to cells. Phenol Red is commonly used as a pH indicator in cell culture media, and it changes color if it is outside of the physiological pH range. A yellow color indicates the pH is too acidic, a purple color indicates the pH is too alkaline, and an orange-red color indicates the medium is at the correct pH level. A nitrogen source that includes amino acids are vital for cell media due to their ability to grow and maintain cells. Inorganic salts, such as sodium and potassium, can be added to the media, which play a role in cell growth and nourishment. Serum is also added to cell culture media as it is a significant source of hormones, lipids, and minerals. Glucose is a crucial source of energy in cell culture, as it has the ability to cross the membrane through facilitated diffusion and transport proteins. Glucose is typically used at a concentration of 5.5 mM in cell culture media, as this concentration is close to equivalent of glucose levels in blood. Antibiotics may also be added to cell culture to inhibit bacterial and fungal growth.