Insulin Insight

A short history of cell culture media and the use of insulin

A short history of cell culture media and the use of insulin

Author: Pierre De Meyts, MD, PHD, F.A.C.E.

The ancestors of cell culture media were the balanced salt solutions (BSS) devised by early workers interested in studying isolated organs ex vivo.

Such solutions provided irrigation and supply of water, bulk inorganic anions essential for normal cell metabolism, osmotic balance (isotonicity), a carbohydrate such as glucose as energy source, and a buffering system to maintain the medium within the physiological pH range (7.2 – 7.6) usually monitored by the addition of phenol red (1).

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