Cell culture medium composition and translational adult bone marrow-derived stem cell research

Stem Cells. 2006 May;24(5):1409-10. doi: 10.1634/stemcells.2005-0654. Epub 2006 Jan 26.


The use of fetal calf serum (FCS) for the culture of cells to be used in clinical trials raises potential hazards that cannot be neglected, but this is a regulatory issue. However, as specifically regards the isolation and expansion of human mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), unfortunately serum-free media have not yet been defined. The alternative of using autologous serum is feasible only for the minority of clinical protocols involving low numbers of MSCs, because a minimum concentration of 10% in the culture medium is required. Besides, because allogeneic serum results in MSC growth arrest and death, use of pooled human serum does not represent an alternative. Finally, vast numbers of MSCs cultured in FCS-containing media have already been used in many clinical trials targeting a variety of disorders, without any significant side effects, including ventricular arrhythmia.

Publication types

  • Letter

MeSH terms

  • Bone Marrow Cells / cytology*
  • Cell Culture Techniques / standards
  • Cell Culture Techniques / trends
  • Culture Media / standards*
  • Humans
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / cytology
  • Research Design*


  • Culture Media