For over 30 years, neuroscience researchers have been conducting and publishing experiments using neurons cultured in neurobasal media [1]. Neurobasal medium allows for long-term maintenance of the normal phenotype and growth of neuronal cell cultures and maintains pure populations of neuronal cells without the need for an astrocyte feeder layer.

Thermo Fisher Scientific offers several serum-free Gibco neurobasal medium options to suit your neuronal cell culture and neuroscience experiment needs:

  • Neurobasal Medium is the classic formulation used by neuroscientists for over 30 years. This neuronal cell culture medium supports long-term maintenance and maturation of pre-natal and fetal neuronal cell cultures without the need for an astrocyte feeder layer.
  • Neurobasal-A Medium is a neuronal cell culture medium designed to support long-term cultures of post-natal and adult primary neurons without the need for an astrocyte feeder layer.
  • Neurobasal Plus Medium is the next-generation version of the classic neuronal cell culture medium, optimized to enable the highest in vitro survival of primary and stem cell-derived neurons when used with B-27 Plus Supplement.

Shop the Neurobasal Media Product Category

What is the composition of Neurobasal Medium?

Neurobasal Medium contains 25 mM D-glucose, 0.22 mM sodium pyruvate, amino acids, vitamins, inorganic salts, and other components. The complete Neurobasal Medium formulation can be found in our technical resources section.

What is the difference between Neurobasal Medium and Neurobasal-A Medium?

Neurobasal Medium is designed for pre-natal and fetal neuronal cell cultures. Neurobasal-A Medium is designed for growing post-natal and adult brain neuronal cultures. These two neuronal cell culture media differ only in osmolality.

What is the difference between Neurobasal Medium and Neurobasal Plus Medium?

Compared to the original neurobasal medium formulation, key amino acids and buffering components have been optimized in Neurobasal Plus Medium. No small molecules or growth factors have been added.

When used with B-27 Plus supplement, Neurobasal Plus Medium supports higher neuronal survival and neurite outgrowth compared to the classic Neurobasal Medium.

Neurons cultured in B-27 Supplement and Neurobasal Medium versus B-27 Supplement and Neurobasal Plus Medium

Figure 1. Comparison of Neurobasal and Neurobasal Plus media with matching supplements. Primary Rat Cortex Neurons (embryonic day 18) plated on Poly-D-Lysine and were cultured for up to three weeks in the listed medium and supplement, then fixed and immunostained for the neuronal protein MAP2 (green) on day 7, 14, or 21. Nuclei were counterstained with DAPI (blue).

What is the composition of Neurobasal Plus Medium?

Neurobasal Plus Medium contains the same components as the classic Neurobasal Medium formulation, but the concentrations are optimized.

Select the neurobasal medium for your cell culture model:

Cell type/applicationStandard formulaPhenol red-freeClinical therapy grade
Pre-natal and fetal primary neuronsNeurobasal MediumNeurobasal Medium without Phenol RedCTS Neurobasal Medium
Post-natal and adult brain neuronsNeurobasal-A MediumNeurobasal-A Medium without Phenol RedCTS Neurobasal-A Medium
Neural stem cellsNeurobasal MediumNeurobasal Medium without Phenol Red 
Post-natal neurons needing custom-level nutrientsNeurobasal-A Medium, no D-glucose, no sodium pyruvate  
Enhanced survival of pre-natal and fetal primary neuronsNeurobasal Plus Medium  


  1. Arora, M. Cell Culture Media: A Review.Mater Methods. 2013; 3: 175.

Support and resources for neurobasal medium

For Research Use Only. Not for use in diagnostic procedures.