CAD 22.00

In 1951, Harry Eagle determined thirteen amino acids minimally required to sustain the growth of most mammalian cells in culture. This led to his creation of the Minimal Essential Medium (MEM) now widely used for cultivating a wide variety of mammalian cell types in monolayer or suspension. The original recipe includes 29 components: 13 amino acids including glutamine, 8 vitamins, 6 salts, glucose, and additional serum protein as a supplement. MEM is simply a modified Basal Medium Eagle media containing higher concentrations of essential nutrients to more closely resemble the protein content of human cells. The optional supplementation of non-essential amino acids (NEAA) to the formulations that incorporate either Hanks’ or Earle’s salts has broadened the usefulness of this medium. However, depending on the application, numerous different commercial MEM formulations are available, such as low-serum, serum-free, with or without glutamine, and with or without phenol red. The formulation has been further modified by optional elimination of calcium to permit the growth of cells in suspension. MEM α is a modification of Minimum Essential Medium (MEM) that contains non-essential amino acids, sodium pyruvate, thioctic acid, vitamin B12, biotin, and ascorbic acid. MEM with Earle’s Balanced Salts, is suitable for use in atmospheres charged with CO2 gas. MEM with Hanks’ Salts formulation is suitable for use without CO2.

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Additional information

Theoretical pH

7.3 ± 0.3


302 mOsm/kg ± 10 %


Red, orange solution

Storage conditions

+2°C to +8°C

Shelf life

12 months

Sterility tests

– bacteria aerobic-anaerobic
– bacteria strictly anaerobic
– fungi / yeast


< 1 EU/ml

Signs of Deterioration

Medium should be clear and free of particulate and flocculent material. Do not use if medium is
cloudy or contains precipitate.
Other evidence of deterioration may include color change or degradation of physical or performance


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