Gibco cell culture bags
  • Gibco media conveniently pre-filled in bags in a variety of formulations and sizes
  • Specifically designed to increase productivity and reduce costs
  • Easily integrates with most systems: universal design provides multiple connection options
  • Gibco quality and reliability in a disposable format up to 1,000 L

Gibco flexible packaging options


Gibco Universal Bags

Gibco PE bags are available prefilled with a selection of Gibco media and reagents in 5, 10 and 20 L sizes.


Wave Cellbag prefilled with Sf-900 II Medium

The Cellbag™ Bioreactor from Wave Biotech (part of GE Healthcare) is available prefilled with Gibco Sf-900 II Medium.

Overview of the product contact layer of Gibco universal bags

The new product contact layer of the Gibco universal bag is now ultralow density polyethylene and has the following benefits:

  • Robust, clear and animal-origin free film
  • Single-ply co-extruded film structure
  • Extremely low extractable and leachable profile
  • Superior gas transmission barrier properties
  • Consistent film across every bag size (1–1,000 L)

All bags were transitioned to the new Gibco PE film during 2010.

Tech summary

Physical Property*DimensionValue (Before / after gamma sterilization)Procedure
Haze%5 / 5ASTM D-1003
Clarity%98 / 98ASTM D-1003
Transmittance%93 / 93ASTM D-1003
Tensile strength at breakMPa14 / 13ASTM D-882
Elongation at break%280 / 300ASTM D-882
Elastic modulusMPa370 / 350ASTM D-882
Break at cold temperatureºCBelow -45 / below -45ISO 8570
Densityg/cm30.9ASTM D-792
Water vapor transmission rate**g/( / 0.32ASTM F-1249
Oxygen permeability**cm3/(< 0.05 / <0.05ASTM D-3985
Carbon dioxide permeability**cm3/(<0.2 / <0.2ASTM F-2476
Film thickness0.325 mm  
Gamma sterilization dose 25 kGy except **50 kGy   

Conformity specs

(A-IR spectrophotometry)
Pass (≤4%)Pass
Appearance of solution S1
Acidity or alkalinity
≤ 1.5 mL 0.01 N NaOH
≤ 1.0 mL 0.01 N HCl
Pass (0.60 mL)
Pass (0.40 mL)
UV absorbance (220-340 nm)
≤ 0.20
Pass (0.01)
Reducing substances
≤ 0.5 mL
Pass (0.20 mL)
Extractable aluminum
≤ 1 ppm
Extractable zinconium
≤ 0.1 ppm
Extractable chromium
≤ 0.05 ppm
Extractable heavy metals
≤ 2.5 ppm
Extractable titanium
≤ 1 ppm
Extractable vanadium
≤ 0.1 ppm
Extractable zinc
≤ 1 ppm
Extractable zirconium
≤ 0.1 ppm
Sulphated ash
≤ 1%
Pass (0.02%)
Substances soluble in hexane
Antioxidants (max. 3)
< 0.3%
Amides and stearates

Physiochemical specs

Nonvolatile residue
USP <661>≤ 15 mgPass
Residue on ignition
USP <661>≤ 5 mg
Heavy metals
USP <661>
< 2 ppm
Buffering capacity
USP <661>
≤ 10 mL

Biocompatibility specs

Elution test
USP <87>Pass
Systemic injection test
USP <88>Class VI
Intracutaneous test
USP <88>
Class VIPass
Buffering capacity
USP <88>
Class VIPass

Gas transmission rates

Lower is Better
The Gibco PE film demonstrates significantly lower gas transmission rates in comparison to other bags on the market.

Gibco PE film construction

  1. 50 μm Polyethylene
  2. 10 μm Adhesive layer
  3. 20 μm Ethyl Vinyl Alcohol (Gas barrier)
  4. 10 μm Adhesive Layer
  5. 230 μm Ultra low-density polyethylene (Contact Layer)

Gibco PE film pH stability

Shelf life stability study over a 19 month period for CD-CHO, DMEM, and FreeStyle 293. Media packaged in the Gibco PE film remains within pH specification limits.

1.   Why switch to a new film?
A:    We have a culture of continuous improvement and innovation. Based on feedback from customers, we designed a bag portfolio using a consistent film across all sizes. We also achieved a new film superior in function to other commercially available films.

2.   When will I start to receive bags with the new film?

A:    We will begin production in the new film starting in February, 2010.  You may continue to receive product with the original film until our stock is depleted.  We expect to have all product in the new Gibco PE film by mid year.

3.   What are the benefits of the PE film?

A:  The commercially available film is a very clear, multi-layered single web film with a polyethylene contact surface that can be made into a wide range of bag sizes (250mL – 1,000L).  In addition, the film is a market leader with exceptional gas barrier properties with very low extractable and leachable results.
4.  Does this mean there are changes to the formulations?

A:  No.  There is no change to the product formulation inside the bag and the new Gibco PE film will not affect media properties or effectiveness.  All products are still manufactured at our Gibco production sites in Grand Island, NY or Paisley, Scotland.

5.   Will anything else change with the bags?

A:  The shape and design of the existing bag will remain constant.  All tubing and fittings of the universal bags will remain in place to offer a wide range of connection options. 

The outer package of the new bags has been improved to provide more support and structure for transportation and storage.  Your bag will now ship in all brown, 100% recyclable, heavyweight corrugated box.

We have also added some additional formulas as stocked catalog products.  We will now sell Freestyle 293 and CD CHO in the universal bags with the Gibco® PE film.

6.   In what size package will my bags ship?

A:  Each bag size will arrive in a specific heavyweight corrugated box designed for shipment
           5L – 12” x 14.25” x 5.5”
         10L – 13” x 23.5” 6.125”
         20L – 15” x 24” x 6.125”

7.   What sized bags are currently available?

A:  Large size bags are currently available with a continued release of additional sizes throughout the year.  We plan to start filling select formulas in the 5, 10, and 20 liter bags starting in Q1 2010 and will have a rolling launch of all catalog offered formulas.

8.   Will you continue to support other films?

A:  Yes.  Although we feel that the Gibco PE film exceeds many of the technical properties of the other available films, we will continue to offer and support the other currently available films through custom orders.

9.   Will my previous custom configuration change to the new film?

A:  No.  All custom re-orders in the small bags will use the same film/bag as your original order.  If you would like to switch to the new film, please let us know during the order process and we will accommodate your request.

10.  What will I have to do differently?

A:  Nothing.  The catalog numbers will remain the same and you will continue to get your orders as usual.  Each formula may be available in the new film at different times, but the change will occur automatically with no action needed on your part.

11.  Can I find out what products are on stability and specifically if my product is?

A:  We can share with you our list of products on stability. However, we do not put all products on stability – only representative formulations. 

12.  What does this change ultimately mean to me?

Gas transmission rates:
  The Gibco PE film has superior transmission rates when compared to other commercially available films.

Bag size flexibility:  You will now be able to receive a wider range of bag sizes using the same film which makes scale up easier for you.  The ability to scale up will allow you to receive different sized bags without you having to validate multiple films.

Documentation:   The documentation for the Gibco PE film exceeds many others.  It includes USP Class VI, leachable, extractable, gas permeation, biological and physical property to name a few.

Clarity:  The clarity of this film is much better than multi-webbed films and most single web films.

Contact layer:  The Gibco PE film has a polyethylene contact layer.


Find the information you need for successful cell culture—including application notes, videos & webinars, and the Gibco Education virtual labs—in the Cell Culture & Transfection Learning Center.


Custom inquiries—Gibco media is available in many customized packaging configurations, including large-scale media bags.  Fill out a custom inquiry to learn more.

Find tips, troubleshooting help, and resources for your cell culture workflow in the Cell Culture & Transfection Support Center