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Application Note: Viscosity of DMEM Cell Culture Media


Cell culture media is a complex fluid filled with nutrients required for cells to grow, proliferate, and differentiate. Media is specifically designed to maintain the ideal nutrients, hormones, pH, and osmotic
environment necessary for cell growth. In particular, the amount of glucose and other nutrients can modify the rheology of the media itself, which can impact cell growth and differentiation. Additionally, different types of cells prefer different types of media. For example, many mammalians cell lines are grown and
maintained in Dulbecco’s Modified Eagle Media (DMEM), while insect cells are grown in Grace’s medium.

Characterizing the differences between formulations is vital for developing new products and for maintaining quality control for existing product lines.
In this application note, we investigated the viscosity of a few DMEM formulations. We showed that subtle changes in viscosity can be detected based on the different amounts and types of nutrients used in the formulations.

Key Words: 

  • Cell and Tissue Culture Media
  • Product Development
  • Viscosity
  • Process Development
  • Viscosity Modifiers
  • Low Glucose
  • High Glucose
  • Formulation Development
  • Automated
  • Viscosity Measurements

Goal: Viscosity data for different formulations of DMEM were collected on VROC® initium. Moderate viscosity differences were observed based on differences in glucose concentration as well as differences in the nutrients used in the media formulation. Taken together these results demonstrate that subtle differences between DMEM formulations can be detected by measuring viscosity with the VROC® initium automated viscometer system.

1. How is viscosity relevant to cell culture media?

Cell culture media is a fluid filled with nutrients required for cells to grow. Many aspects are important to it including nutrients, hormones, pH, and osmotic environment for cell growth.  A change in viscosity of the cell culture media indicates changes in the media (whether nutrients are intentionally added) or can also indicate that your cell media has changed and it's time to analyze. 

2. Can RheoSense viscometers do Newtonian and non-Newtonian samples?

Yes! VROC technology can handle non-Newtonian samples by having direct control over shear rates! Newtonian samples are also easy to do! 

About the Viscometer

Learn more about the automated viscometer that compliments Clariti™, VROC® initium.

  • 26 µL of Sampleinitium (no bdg)
  • Sample Retrieval 
  • Sample Recovery
  • Measurement temperatures 4 - 70 ºC
  • Sample storage temperature
  • Intrinsic Viscosity
  • Injectability
Learn More