Consistently high-quality feeder cells for ESC/iPSC culture

Consistently high-quality feeder cells for ESC/iPSC culture

Gibco Mouse Embryonic Fibroblasts (MEFs) are high-quality feeder cells used to support the growth and pluripotency of embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). They are manufactured and qualified by MTI-GlobalStem, a company known for their superior performing feeder cells, which are cited in hundreds of publications.

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Gibco Mouse Embryonic Fibroblasts are:

  • Rigorously tested (Table 1) for consistently high quality (Figure 1 and 2, 3)
  • Pre-inactivated and ready-to-use to help save time (Figure 4)
  • Available in different strains, sizes and treatments to fit your needs (Tables 2 and 3)


Table 1. Tests performed during quality assessments of Gibco MEFs.

Test categoryTest
Maintenance of pluripotencyTest for human ESC support
Test for mouse ESC support
SterilityMycoplasma direct culture test
Bacterial and fungal test
Mouse pathogen test
Viability assessments (post-thaw)Viable cell count
% Viability
Drug resistance characterizationTest for antibiotic resistance

High quality

Gibco MEFs support healthy PSC cultures that form compact colonies with defined edges and express pluripotency markers (Figures 1 and 2). In addition, Gibco MEFs help ensure superior results in many applications, including reprogramming (Figure 3).

Figure 1. Gibco MEFs support healthy human and mouse PSC cultures. Human ESCs (hESCs) and mouse ESCs (mESCs) were plated on Gibco CF1 MEFs or low-quality MEFs. hESC and mESC colonies grown on Gibco MEFs are compact and have defined edges, indicative of healthy undifferentiated ESCs. By contrast, hESC and mESC colonies grown on low-quality MEFs are less defined, less compact, and show indications of differentiation.

Figure 2.  Gibco MEFs maintain pluripotency of PSC cultures. H9 ESCs were plated on Gibco CF1 MEFs or low-quality CF1 MEFs. Cells grown on Gibco CF1 MEFs show improved maintenance of undifferentiated hESCs compared to low-quality MEFs, as indicated by higher TRA-1-60 expression and much lower SSEA1 expression when analyzed by flow cytometry.

Figure 3. High-quality Gibco MEFs yield superior results in applications such as reprogramming.  Human fibroblasts were reprogrammed with the CytoTune-iPSC 2.0 Sendai Reprogramming Kit and plated on Gibco CF1 MEFs or low quality CF1 MEFs. Gibco MEFs enabled double the reprogramming efficiency compared to low quality MEFs. Images show whole wells stained with alkaline phosphatase (red).

Pre-inactivated and ready-to-use

Gibco MEFs allow you to save more than 2 weeks (compared to the typical MEF preparation time, Figure 4), and our careful preparation and quality tests help ensure you have more confidence in your feeder-dependent cultures. 

Figure 4. The typical MEF preparation time saved with Gibco MEFs. Laboratories typically set up timed matings to embryonic day 13.5, spend approximately 1 week preparing MEFs, and may spend additional time performing quality testing. The absence of quality testing increases the risk of using contaminated or low-quality MEFs.

Available in different strains

Several varieties of Gibco MEFs are available to support specific applications and different individual preferences.

Table 2. Different Gibco MEFs and recommended uses.

MEF strain/typeRecommended useNotes
CF1Routine mouse or human ESC/iPSC culture
  • Most commonly used feeder cells
  • Highly recommended for mouse ESC/iPSC culture
CF6-NeoDrug selection during mouse or human ESC/iPSC culture
  • For single drug selection with (G418) geneticin
  • Similar resistance to G418 compared to DR4 MEFs
  • For single drug selection with puromycin
  • Higher puromycin resistance compared to DR4 MEFs
  • For selection with the following drugs: geneticin, puromycin, hygromycin and 6­-thioguanine
  • Permits selection with multiple drugs

Find the Gibco product equivalent of MTI-GlobalStem products

Locate your MTI-GlobalStem MEF product in the table below to find the equivalent or most closely related Gibco MEF products as well as some selected citations.

Table 3. MTI-GlobalStem MEFs.

MTI-GlobalStem MEF ProductMTI-GlobalStem Cat. No.Equivalent (or closest) Gibco Cat. Nos.PubMed IDs of selected citations
CF-1 MEF 0.5M IRR*GSC-6301GA3418027739611, 28416285, 28569216, 25687300, 27532818, 27022951, 26416968, 26100233,
24281874, 23584186, 22675543, 22605648, 22370855, 21716665, 21608081, 21212777,
CF-1 MEF 2M IRRGSC-6201GA34180
CF-1 MEF 4M IRRGSC-6001GA34181
CF-1 MEF IRR 7M*GSC-6101GA34181
CF-1 MEF 4M untreated*GSC-6001A34181 or A34959
CF-1 MEF 0.5M Mito-C*GSC-6301MA34958
CF-1 MEF 2M Mito-CGSC-6201MA34958
CF-1 MEF 4M Mito-CGSC-6001MA34959
C57BL/6 MEF 2M IRRGSC-6202GA3496028569216,
C57BL/6 MEF 4M IRRGSC-6002GA34961
C57BL/6 MEF 4M Mito-CGSC-6002MA34962
C57BL/6 MEF 4M untreated*GSC-6002A34961 or A34962
CF6Neo MEF 4M IRRGSC-6005GA3496326100233
CF6Neo MEF 4M untreated*GSC-6005A34963 or A34964
CF6Neo MEF 4M Mito-CGSC-6005MA34964
CF6Neo MEF 7M Mito-C*GSC-6105MA34964
Puro MEF 2M IRRGSC-6220GA3496528129126,
Puro MEF 4M IRR*GSC-6020GA34965
Puro MEF 4M Mito-C*GSC-6020MA34965
DR4 MEF 2M IRR—AcademicGSC-6204GA3496627905063, 25765640, 25741760, 25587899, 25108529, 24838915, 23351095, 23095454, 21411759, 21040903
DR4 MEF 4M IRR—Academic*GSC-6004GA34966

* These MTI-GlobalStem MEF products do not have direct equivalents at this time, but we suggest the listed related products.

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