Insect Cell Culture

Insect cell culture is a common choice for heterologous protein expression. For large-scale production or basic research, insect cells are able to express large quantities of protein with complex post-translational modifications.

Gibco insect media has been formulated for maximum growth and protein yields. This media, in combination with Gibco pre-adapted cell lines, will provide a convenient system to save you time and effort.

Which insect media is right for you?

 Serum-free High Five cell growth & protein expressionSerum-free growth & protein expressionAOF growth & protein expressionHighest consistency & protein expression
 Express Five SFMSf-900 II SFM
Sf-900 III
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ExpiSf CD
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Chemically defined   
Serum Free
Protein Free
Source originSerum-freeSerum-freeAnimal origin-freeAnimal origin-free
Lot-to-lot consistencyMedium (medium hydrolysate concentration)Medium (medium hydrolysate concentration)High (low hydrolysate concentration)High (no hydrolysate present)
Optimized to prevent foaming
Compatible insect cellsHigh five (BTI-TN-5B1-4) cellsSf9 & Sf21 cellsSf9 & Sf21 cellsExpiSf9, Sf9 & Sf21 cells
Supported cell density (Sf9 cells/mL)6x106 cells/mL10x106 cells/mL10–14x106 cells/mL20x106 cells/mL
Packaging1000 mL500 mL, 1000 mL, 5 L (bags), 10 L (bags), 20 L (bags)500 mL, 1000 mL, 10 L (bags), 20 L (bags)500 mL, 1000 mL, 10 L (bags), 20 L (bags)
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Drosophila S2 Cell Culture

Drosophila S2 cells are used for heterologous protein expression in the Drosophila Expression System (DES). The S2 cell line was derived from a primary culture of late-stage Drosophila melanogaster embryos (Schneider, 1972). This adaptable cell line grows without CO2, at room temperature, as a semi-adherent monolayer or suspension in Schneider's Drosophila Medium.

Basic insect cell culture with Grace’s Medium

Grace's Insect Medium is a classic medium for insect cell culture. It was originally designed for the growth of cells from the Australian Emperor Gum Moth, Antheraea eucalypti. Supplemented Grace’s Insect Medium is used for the growth of Spodoptera frugiperda cells, Sf9 and Sf21. Sf9 and Sf21 cells are routinely used to express recombinant protein using the Baculovirus Expression Vector System (BEVS). We also offer Gibco Unsupplemented Grace’s formulations that can be used during transfection of insect cells, or for protein labeling studies (with methionine).

Learn more about Grace’s Insect Medium

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