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Serum-free media optimization growth factor discovery kit (Qk505)

For rapid optimization of your media to become entirely serum-free.


Serum-free media offers a defined and controlled environment for cell culture, minimizing variability and contamination risks associated with traditional serum-containing media. Serum-free media enhances reproducibility and reliability in experimental results, while aligning with ethical considerations and animal welfare principles. The of serum-free media use also reduces the likelihood of introducing adventitious contaminants, such as viruses and mycoplasma, into cell cultures. Serum-free media is particularly valuable in cellular agriculture and translational and clinical research, ensuring compliance with regulatory standards for safety and quality in cell-based therapies and tissue engineering applications.

The serum-free media optimization growth factor discovery kit contains 7 growth factors which are commonly used in a variety of serum-free media. Use this kit to optimize media for your cells to fully define your media.

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Kit content

  • Human FGF2-G3 154 aaQk053 -100 µg
    A thermostable engineered form of human FGF-2. Human FGF2-G3 154 aa is the 154 aa mature domain of FGF-2 (Qk027). The functional half-life has increased from <10 h (wild-type) to >7 days (FGF2-G3).

  • Recombinant human FGF2 protein (154 aa) – Qk027 – 50 µg
    A highly bioactive, long–form of human fibroblast growth factor 2 protein. FGF-2 protein is used to support the maintenance of human embryonic stem cells and proliferation and differentiation of induced pluripotent and mesenchymal stem cells.

  • Activin A – Qk001 – 50 µg
    Regulates embryonic development, cell proliferation, differentiation, and immune responses. Activin A is frequently used to maintain pluripotency in induced pluripotent and embryonic stem cell cultures.

  • TGF- β1 PLUS – Qk010 – 25 µg
    Regulates various cellular processes, including cell proliferation, growth, differentiation, motility, and apoptosis. It is an essential growth factor in many embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cell maintenance media, including the commonly used E8, StemPro, and mTeSR media.

  • TGF-β2 – Qk072 – 50 µg
    Regulates a wide array of cellular processes, including proliferation, differentiation, wound healing, apoptosis, metabolism, embryogenesis, and tissue repair. It is an essential growth factor in many embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cell culture media.

  • TGF beta 3 – Qk054 – 25 µg
    A member of the Transforming Growth Factor family, a family involved in regulating cell survival, proliferation and differentiation.1 TGF-β3 is used in human pluripotent stem cell maintenance medias, such as B8 media.

  • IGF-1 LR3 (insulin-like growth factor long arginine 3) – Qk041 – 100 µg
    A synthetic analog of IGF-1. The substitutions include an Arginine substitution and an N-terminal protein extension. Consequently, IGF-1 LR3 has improved biological potency and extended half-life.

Quality features

  • Highly pure >98%, by SDS-PAGE quantitative densitometry

  • Highly bioactive – come with our Bioactivity Guarantee

  • Source: Expressed in E. coli 

  • Animal-free (AOF) and carrier protein-free

  • Manufactured in Cambridge, UK

  • Lyophilized

Quality assays

  • Mass spectrometry, single species with the expected mass

  • Endotoxin: <0.005 EU/μg protein (below the level of detection)

  • Recovery from stock vial: >95%

Kit description

Serum-free media allows for precise control over the nutrients, growth factors, and other components present in the culture environment. This defined composition facilitates reproducibility and consistency in experimental results, as researchers can accurately manipulate the culture conditions to meet the specific needs of their cells [1].

Fetal bovine serum (FBS), commonly used in traditional cell culture, contains a complex mixture of proteins, hormones, growth factors, and other components whose composition can vary between batches and suppliers. This variability can introduce inconsistencies and confounding factors into experimental results. Serum-free media eliminates this source of variability, resulting in more reliable and reproducible data. FBS and other animal-derived sera carry the risk of contamination with adventitious agents such as viruses, mycoplasma, and prions. Using serum-free media reduces the likelihood of introducing these contaminants into cell cultures, minimizing the risk of compromising experimental outcomes and biosafety concerns[1-2].

The use of serum-free media aligns with principles of animal welfare and ethical considerations, as it reduces the dependence on animal-derived products in cell culture practices. This approach supports efforts to reduce the use of animals in research and aligns with the 3Rs principle (Replacement, Reduction, Refinement) for humane animal research[1-3].

Serum-free media are particularly valuable in cellular agriculture and translational and clinical research, where the use of animal-derived products may raise regulatory and safety concerns. By employing serum-free media, researchers can develop cell-based therapies and tissue-engineered products and cultivated meat that meet regulatory standards for safety, quality, and consistency [3].

  1. Smith, J. et al. “Advancements in Serum-Free Media Formulations for Cell Culture.” Journal of Biotechnology 2023, 156(3), 234-245. DOI: 10.1016/j.jbiotec.2022.09.005
  2. Johnson, A. R. “Recent Trends in Serum-Free Media Development for Tissue Engineering Applications.” Tissue Engineering Part C: Methods 2024, 20(1), 78-89. DOI: 10.1089/ten.tec.2023.0112
  3. Wang, L. & Chen, S. “Serum-Free Culture Systems for Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells: A Review.” Stem Cells International 2023, 15(2), 112-125. DOI: 10.1155/2023/5796241

Qkine is committed to manufacturing bioactive proteins of the highest quality to enhance scientific outcomes and improve reproducibility. To ensure absolute reproducibility and optimize scientific outcomes, all our products rigorously adhere to the Nine-point Qkine Quality Commitment.

This product is only available on orders direct from Qkine. Distributors and resellers of Qkine products are not eligible.

This products is for research use only and not for diagnostic or therapeutic use. 

This product is not for resale.

No additional discount promotion can be applied to the price of the Discovery Kit.

Other restrictions may apply.
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