Miltenyi Biotec's cell culture media definition

We at Miltenyi Biotec produce all our cell culture media in house, focusing on high quality and high reproducibility. We offer a variety of cell culture media and supplements, allowing a successful translation of scientific discovery into clinical applications.

This page should give an overview of the different quality grades of MACS® Media, which depend on ingredients used in the formulation and the production under different quality systems.

Serum-free (SF) cell culture media

Serum-free media are free of human AB serum and fetal bovine serum (FBS).

They may contain individual ingredients derived from blood or serum proteins, such as albumins or immunoglobulins. However, the protein fractions are purified, reducing the risk for lot-to-lot variability.

Serum-free media may contain components derived from bacteria or plants.

Xeno-free (XF) cell culture media

Xeno-free media are free from material of species other than the one cultured in the medium. For instance, a xeno-free medium for human cells contains only proteins of human origin or recombinant proteins.

Xeno-free media may contain components derived from bacteria or plants.

Animal component–free (ACF) cell culture media

Animal component–free media are entirely free of animal (except human) components.

They are equivalent to a xeno-free formulation for human cells.

Animal component–free media may contain components derived from bacteria or plants.

Chemically defined (CD) cell culture media

Chemically defined media are formulated without any components of direct human or animal origin.

All ingredients are defined and have a known chemical formula.

Chemically defined media don’t contain any components derived from bacteria or plants.


MACS GMP Products are manufactured and tested under a quality management system (ISO 13485) and are compliant with relevant GMP guidelines. They are designed following the recommendations of USP <1043> on ancillary materials.

Highest product standards are ensured by quality control (QC) functionality tests on every batch and extensive documentation including certificates of analysis (CoA), product data sheets, and regulatory support document cross reference.

MACS GMP Products are for research use and ex vivo cell culture processing only, and are not intended for human in vivo  applications.

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