BenchStable Cell Culture Media

Engineered for flexibility and convenience

Save your lab’s valuable cold storage space with Gibco BenchStable Media, engineered for flexibility and convenience and enabling storage at room temperature. Available in the most commonly used basal media formulations: DMEM, DMEM/F-12, MEM, and RPMI 1640. BenchStable media have been optimized for routine cell culture, maintaining expected morphology and function of many common cell lines.

  • Stable at room temperature—no need to refrigerate means it’s ready when you need it
  • Flexibility—store it anywhere: on your lab bench or in the refrigerator
  • Easy to use—direct replacement for your current media when supplemented with ≥ 10% FBS
  • Light protection—bottles provided in protective packaging to mitigate the risk of light exposure; no more wrapping bottles in foil

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 Sustainable solutions

Gibco BenchStable Media have more sustainable packaging and helps reduce energy consumption by promoting the efficient use of cold storage when compared to traditional media.

Download the BenchStable Media green fact sheet

Energy efficient

Cold storage is one of the primary sources of energy consumption in the lab. By storing media on the lab bench, researchers can free up valuable cold storage space and help reduce energy consumption.
 

Sustainable packaging

To protect it from light, our iconic media bottle comes in a paperboard cover. The paperboard cover can easily be removed and recycled. The media bottle is made from PET with an HDPE lid, which are two of the most highly recycled plastics.


Reliable results for routine cell culture

BenchStable media maintain expected growth rates

Graph of population doubling times for 4 human cell lines when grown in standard and BenchStable media

Figure 1. BenchStable media support equivalent growth rates in long term cultures. HeLa (MEM; pink), HEK293 (DMEM; blue), Jurkat (RPMI; green), and SH-SY5Y (DMEM/F-12; yellow) cells were grown in standard (closed points) and BenchStable (open points) media supplemented with 10% FBS for 15 passages. Cell counts at each passage were used to calculate population doubling times.

Graph of population doubling times for 4 human cell lines when grown in standard and BenchStable media

Figure 2. BenchStable media support equivalent growth rates in short-term cultures. A549 (MEM; pink), MCF7 (DMEM; blue), THP-1 (RPMI; green), and CHO-K1 (DMEM/F-12; yellow) cells were grown in standard (closed points) and BenchStable (open points) media supplemented with 10% FBS for 5 passages. Cell counts at each passage were used to calculate population doubling times.

BenchStable media maintain cell morphology

Brightfield microscope views of HEK293 cells grown in standard and BenchStable media
Figure 3. BenchStable DMEM supports HEK293 cell culture. HEK293 human embryonic kidney cells were cultured for 15 passages in DMEM (left; Cat. No. 10566016) or BenchStable DMEM (right; Cat. No. A4192101) supplemented with 10% FBS. Images were captured at passage 15 using 10x magnification on an EVOS FL Auto Imaging System.
Brightfield microscope views of HeLa cells grown in standard and BenchStable media
Figure 4. BenchStable MEM supports HeLa cell culture. HeLa human cervical adenocarcinoma cells were cultured for 15 passages in MEM (left; Cat. No. 41090036) or BenchStable MEM (right; Cat. No. A4192201) supplemented with 10% FBS. Images were captured at passage 15 using 10x magnification on an EVOS FL Auto Imaging System.

BenchStable media maintain cell health

Fluorescence microscopy images of HeLa cells grown in standard and BenchStable media showing red-stained mitochondria and blue-stained nuclei

Figure 5. Cells cultured in BenchStable media maintain healthy mitochondria. HeLa cells cultured in DMEM (left) and BenchStable DMEM (right) for eight passages were stained with tetramethyl rhodamine methyl ester (TMRM; Cat. No. T668) and Hoechst (Cat. No. 33342). TMRM is a cell-permeant dye that accumulates in active mitochondria, resulting in a bright signal in healthy cells.

Equivalent transfection efficiency

Fluorescence microscopy images of GFP-expressing HeLa cells along with bar chart showing the calculated GFP plasmid transfection efficiencies

Figure 6. Equivalent transfection efficiency in BenchStable media cultures. HeLa cells cultured in MEM (left) and BenchStable MEM (right) for over five passages were transfected with a GFP-containing plasmid DNA via Lipofectamine 3000 (Cat. No. L3000015). Transfection efficiency was measured in cells harvested 24 h post-transfection by analysis on the Attune NxT Flow Cytometer, using untransfected cells as negative control.

Comparable gene expression with cells in BenchStable media

4-panel fluorescence microscopy images showing cellular structures stained with red, blue, and green fluorescence
Figure 7. Effective differentiation in BenchStable media SH-SY5Y cultures. SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells cultured in DMEM/F-12 (left panels) and BenchStable DMEM/F-12 (right panels) were treated with 10 µM retinoic acid and allowed to differentiate for 5 days. Cells were stained with Alexa Fluor 488 phalloidin (green; Cat. No. A12379) and Hoechst (blue; Cat. No. 33342) to allow visualization of extended, branched neuron-like processes (top panels). Cholinergic neuron-like phenotypes (bottom panels) were shown by staining parallel cultures for tubulin (red; Cat. Nos. MA1-118x and A11005 for primary and secondary antibody) and choline acetyl transferase (ChAT, green; Cat. Nos. PA1-4738 and A11034 for primary and secondary antibodies).

In creating this next innovation in cell culture media, we took great care to help ensure BenchStable Media will provide the quality and consistency that you rely on. Figure 8 shows the negative impact light has on all standard media and is the reason behind our protective packaging. Figure 9 illustrates that essential vitamin and amino acid levels are consistently maintained in BenchStable media that are stored at ambient room temperatures.

Light negatively impacts standard basal media performance

graph showing reduction in HEK293 growth rate after 25 days of light exposure

image of light protected and light exposed cells

Figure 8. Light exposure alters media performance. DMEM/F-12 regularly exposed to standard laboratory light was supplemented with 10% FBS and used to culture HEK293 cells over a period of 4 weeks. After 25 days of light exposure HEK293 growth rates were significantly reduced. Images were taken approximately 95 hours after plating HEK293 cells at passage seven.

BenchStable media maintain necessary vitamin and amino acid levels

Line graphs of vitamin and amino acid concentration vs time for BenchStable RPMI media
Line graphs of vitamin and amino acid concentration vs time for BenchStable DMEM/F-12 media

Figure 9. Media components remain consistent in BenchStable media. BenchStable RPMI (left) and BenchStable DMEM/F-12 (right) media were maintained at room temperature (20–25°C) for 13 months. Samples taken at 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 9, and 13 months were assessed for vitamin and amino acid concentrations via HPLC and compared with concentrations in lot-matched media stored at 2–8°C.

Customer stories

The convenience of storage is great. It is also very helpful not to have to wait for the media to warm up. I have cultured both my murine tumor cell lines and human cell lines with BenchStable media and my standard media and the results were comparable. Our fridge is packed full; therefore it is a benefit to have the flexibility to store BenchStable media on our lab benches or in a cabinet.

— Nathalie Heider-Hoenatsch, PhD Candidate, University Hospital Bonn, Germany

Nathalie Heider-Hoenatsch
I’ve been using your room temperature stable media for the past few weeks, and it’s been great. There’s no noticeable difference between BenchStable DMEM and standard DMEM. The cells we’ve been using have been growing at the same rate and maintaining the same phenotype in both types of media (across 4 passages). Room temperature storage is great because we have more storage space in the lab (at room temperature) than we have in the refrigerator.

— Janty Shoga, Research Engineer, Gemstone Biotherapeutics LLC

Janty Shoga
BenchStable media are extremely convenient to use. We were able to avoid the process of warming the media before use, hence saving us time. The media since stored at room temperature saves a lot of space in the refrigerator, which can be occupied by other reagents. Recently, we had a power outage for 2 days due to a hurricane and did not have to worry about the storage or stability of BenchStable media. Performance-wise our MDA-MB and MCF-7 cells adhered and proliferated similarly to conventional media making it super convenient.

— Dr. Vivek A Kamat, Florida International University, USA

Vivek A Kamat

BenchStable media maintain expected growth rates

Graph of population doubling times for 4 human cell lines when grown in standard and BenchStable media

Figure 1. BenchStable media support equivalent growth rates in long term cultures. HeLa (MEM; pink), HEK293 (DMEM; blue), Jurkat (RPMI; green), and SH-SY5Y (DMEM/F-12; yellow) cells were grown in standard (closed points) and BenchStable (open points) media supplemented with 10% FBS for 15 passages. Cell counts at each passage were used to calculate population doubling times.

Graph of population doubling times for 4 human cell lines when grown in standard and BenchStable media

Figure 2. BenchStable media support equivalent growth rates in short-term cultures. A549 (MEM; pink), MCF7 (DMEM; blue), THP-1 (RPMI; green), and CHO-K1 (DMEM/F-12; yellow) cells were grown in standard (closed points) and BenchStable (open points) media supplemented with 10% FBS for 5 passages. Cell counts at each passage were used to calculate population doubling times.

BenchStable media maintain cell morphology

Brightfield microscope views of HEK293 cells grown in standard and BenchStable media
Figure 3. BenchStable DMEM supports HEK293 cell culture. HEK293 human embryonic kidney cells were cultured for 15 passages in DMEM (left; Cat. No. 10566016) or BenchStable DMEM (right; Cat. No. A4192101) supplemented with 10% FBS. Images were captured at passage 15 using 10x magnification on an EVOS FL Auto Imaging System.
Brightfield microscope views of HeLa cells grown in standard and BenchStable media
Figure 4. BenchStable MEM supports HeLa cell culture. HeLa human cervical adenocarcinoma cells were cultured for 15 passages in MEM (left; Cat. No. 41090036) or BenchStable MEM (right; Cat. No. A4192201) supplemented with 10% FBS. Images were captured at passage 15 using 10x magnification on an EVOS FL Auto Imaging System.

BenchStable media maintain cell health

Fluorescence microscopy images of HeLa cells grown in standard and BenchStable media showing red-stained mitochondria and blue-stained nuclei

Figure 5. Cells cultured in BenchStable media maintain healthy mitochondria. HeLa cells cultured in DMEM (left) and BenchStable DMEM (right) for eight passages were stained with tetramethyl rhodamine methyl ester (TMRM; Cat. No. T668) and Hoechst (Cat. No. 33342). TMRM is a cell-permeant dye that accumulates in active mitochondria, resulting in a bright signal in healthy cells.

Equivalent transfection efficiency

Fluorescence microscopy images of GFP-expressing HeLa cells along with bar chart showing the calculated GFP plasmid transfection efficiencies

Figure 6. Equivalent transfection efficiency in BenchStable media cultures. HeLa cells cultured in MEM (left) and BenchStable MEM (right) for over five passages were transfected with a GFP-containing plasmid DNA via Lipofectamine 3000 (Cat. No. L3000015). Transfection efficiency was measured in cells harvested 24 h post-transfection by analysis on the Attune NxT Flow Cytometer, using untransfected cells as negative control.

Comparable gene expression with cells in BenchStable media

4-panel fluorescence microscopy images showing cellular structures stained with red, blue, and green fluorescence
Figure 7. Effective differentiation in BenchStable media SH-SY5Y cultures. SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells cultured in DMEM/F-12 (left panels) and BenchStable DMEM/F-12 (right panels) were treated with 10 µM retinoic acid and allowed to differentiate for 5 days. Cells were stained with Alexa Fluor 488 phalloidin (green; Cat. No. A12379) and Hoechst (blue; Cat. No. 33342) to allow visualization of extended, branched neuron-like processes (top panels). Cholinergic neuron-like phenotypes (bottom panels) were shown by staining parallel cultures for tubulin (red; Cat. Nos. MA1-118x and A11005 for primary and secondary antibody) and choline acetyl transferase (ChAT, green; Cat. Nos. PA1-4738 and A11034 for primary and secondary antibodies).

In creating this next innovation in cell culture media, we took great care to help ensure BenchStable Media will provide the quality and consistency that you rely on. Figure 8 shows the negative impact light has on all standard media and is the reason behind our protective packaging. Figure 9 illustrates that essential vitamin and amino acid levels are consistently maintained in BenchStable media that are stored at ambient room temperatures.

Light negatively impacts standard basal media performance

graph showing reduction in HEK293 growth rate after 25 days of light exposure

image of light protected and light exposed cells

Figure 8. Light exposure alters media performance. DMEM/F-12 regularly exposed to standard laboratory light was supplemented with 10% FBS and used to culture HEK293 cells over a period of 4 weeks. After 25 days of light exposure HEK293 growth rates were significantly reduced. Images were taken approximately 95 hours after plating HEK293 cells at passage seven.

BenchStable media maintain necessary vitamin and amino acid levels

Line graphs of vitamin and amino acid concentration vs time for BenchStable RPMI media
Line graphs of vitamin and amino acid concentration vs time for BenchStable DMEM/F-12 media

Figure 9. Media components remain consistent in BenchStable media. BenchStable RPMI (left) and BenchStable DMEM/F-12 (right) media were maintained at room temperature (20–25°C) for 13 months. Samples taken at 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 9, and 13 months were assessed for vitamin and amino acid concentrations via HPLC and compared with concentrations in lot-matched media stored at 2–8°C.

Customer stories

The convenience of storage is great. It is also very helpful not to have to wait for the media to warm up. I have cultured both my murine tumor cell lines and human cell lines with BenchStable media and my standard media and the results were comparable. Our fridge is packed full; therefore it is a benefit to have the flexibility to store BenchStable media on our lab benches or in a cabinet.

— Nathalie Heider-Hoenatsch, PhD Candidate, University Hospital Bonn, Germany

Nathalie Heider-Hoenatsch
I’ve been using your room temperature stable media for the past few weeks, and it’s been great. There’s no noticeable difference between BenchStable DMEM and standard DMEM. The cells we’ve been using have been growing at the same rate and maintaining the same phenotype in both types of media (across 4 passages). Room temperature storage is great because we have more storage space in the lab (at room temperature) than we have in the refrigerator.

— Janty Shoga, Research Engineer, Gemstone Biotherapeutics LLC

Janty Shoga
BenchStable media are extremely convenient to use. We were able to avoid the process of warming the media before use, hence saving us time. The media since stored at room temperature saves a lot of space in the refrigerator, which can be occupied by other reagents. Recently, we had a power outage for 2 days due to a hurricane and did not have to worry about the storage or stability of BenchStable media. Performance-wise our MDA-MB and MCF-7 cells adhered and proliferated similarly to conventional media making it super convenient.

— Dr. Vivek A Kamat, Florida International University, USA

Vivek A Kamat

Try our full suite of room temperature–stable products

Gibco BenchStable Cell Culture Media products

TrypLE Dissociation Reagent

These highly purified, recombinant enzymes provide fast yet gentle cell dissociation. Ideal for dissociating attachment-dependent cell lines, TrypLE reagents can be directly substituted for trypsin without protocol changes.

GlutaMAX Supplement

Extend the life of your cells with GlutaMAX supplement. Stable in aqueous solutions and does not spontaneously degrade. This improved cell culture supplement can be used as a direct substitute for L-glutamine in your cell culture media.

BenchStable Media Brochure

BenchStable cool

The coolest new media are totally uncool

Get out of the cold and warm up to room temperature stable cell culture media.

Download the BenchStable Media Brochure

Order BenchStable Media

Warm Up to our BenchStable Media

Already using Gibco media? Here is a quick cross reference to help you make-the-switch. BenchStable Media contain GlutaMAX Supplement and Phenol Red.

Product Description Current Catalog SKU BenchStable SKU

DMEM/F12 with GlutaMAX

DMEM F12 with GlutaMAX

10565018 (500mL)

A4192001 (500mL)

10565042 (10 x 500mL)

A4192002 (10 x 500mL)

DMEM with GlutaMAX

DMEM with GlutaMAX

10566016 (500mL)

A4192101 (500mL)

10566024 (10 x 500mL)

A4192102 (10 x 500mL)

MEM with GlutaMAX

MEM with GlutaMAX

41090036 (500mL)

A4192201 (500mL)

41090101 (10 x 500mL)

A4192202 (10 x 500mL)

RPMI with GlutaMAX

61870036 (500mL)

A4192301 (500mL)

61870127 (10 x 500mL)

A4192302 (10 x 500mL)

Try Gibco One Shot FBS for quick and easy 10% FBS supplementation, visit thermofisher.com/oneshot

What is the shelf-life of BenchStable media?
BenchStable Media has a 12-month shelf life, consistent with our standard basal media offerings.

How should complete or supplemented media be stored?
Complete media, for example media supplemented with 10% FBS, should be stored in the refrigerator (4°C).

How long is BenchStable media good for after bottle has been opened?
To reduce the chances of contamination and the impact of pH drift, we recommend consuming media within 2–4 weeks after it has been opened.

What is the recommended usage timeframe after addition of serum?
Generally speaking, media can be used for up to 2–4 weeks after supplementation with serum. There are no formal studies to support this, but it is the rule of thumb used by our scientists.

How long can medium be exposed to light source before affecting cell growth?
We observe rapid degradation of several components within days resulting from exposure to common fluorescent lights. We have observed decreased cell growth using light exposed media.

Is degradation due to light exposure only limited to fluorescent lights?
The data we provide were generated from testing of our refrigerated catalog media following exposure to fluorescent light illustrates the necessity of having light protection. While we have not tested on other light spectrums; we recommend that you store media protected from any light exposure.

Would BenchStable medium be stable if received partially or completely frozen?
Yes, the BenchStable medium should be stable for use if received partially or completely frozen.

Can the box provided with BenchStable medium be stored in refrigerator?
Yes, the box provided with our BenchStable medium has properties that offers some resistance to moisture generated in a refrigerator environment.

Can I store BenchStable media cold?
Yes, BenchStable media can alternatively be stored at 2–8°C

Will the shelf-life of BenchStable media improve if stored at lower temperature?
BenchStable media is stable at room temperature. The shelf life will remain unchanged whether stored cold or at ambient temperature. Ambient as defined by The United States Pharmacopeial Convention: The temperature maintained thermostatically that encompasses the usual and customary working environment of 20°–25° (68°–77° F). The following conditions also apply. Mean kinetic temperature not to exceed 25°. Excursions between 15° and 30° (59° and 86° F) are allowed.

Do you offer other cell culture reagents that can be conveniently stored at room temperature?
We offer TrypLE dissociation reagents, which are more gentle on cells than trypsin and can be conveniently stored at room temperature (unlike trypsin). We also offer GlutaMAX supplement, which is superior in performance than L-glutamine and can be conveniently stored at room temperature.

Do you offer BenchStable medium without phenol red?
At this time, we do not offer BenchStable medium without phenol red.

What cell lines have been cultured in BenchStable medium?
We have tested our BenchStable medium for growth and morphology on following cell lines: A549, CHO-K1, HEK293, HeLa, HL-60, Jurkat, MCF7, MDA-MB-231, Neuro2A, SH-SY5Y, and THP-1.

What if I supplement with 5% FBS?
We recommend that you supplement BenchStable media with at least 10% FBS for best results. We have performed tests on limited cell types using 5% FBS concentration without compromise. Please contact technical services to ensure your specific application allows for 5% supplementation.

What if I supplement with more than 10% FBS?
We recommend that you supplement BenchStable media with at least 10% FBS for best results. If your culture method calls for greater than 10% FBS supplementation using our existing media, we recommend that you use the same concentration with BenchStable medium.

Resources

Cell Culture & Transfection Learning Center
Access cell culture and transfection educational resources for better experiment planning and execution.

Media Formulation Tool
Find the right Gibco media formulation for DMEM, DMEM/F-12, MEM, and RPMI-1640 media.

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Support

Cell Culture & Transfection Support Center
Find technical support recommendations for your cell culture and transfection workflows, including tips for experimental setup and in-depth troubleshooting help.

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