STEMdiff™ - Products for Human Embryonic and Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Differentiation

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Take the "if" out of "diff"
Reduce Variability by Differentiating with STEMdiff™

When working with human embryonic stem cells (ES cells) and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells) , even the most detailed and rigorously-followed protocols can still lead to inconsistent differentiation.1,2 Use STEMdiff™ products for reproducible differentiation across multiple ES cell and iPS cell lines.

 Your Lineage of Interest  Recommended STEMdiff™ Products
 Endodermal Lineages  STEMdiff™ Definitive Endoderm Kit
 Mesodermal Lineages  STEMdiff™ APEL™ Media
 Ectodermal Lineages  STEMdiff™ Neural System

STEMdiff™ is part of the world’s most complete system of defined reagents for human ES cells and iPS cells – a system that includes mTeSR™1, the most published feeder-free ES cell and iPS cell culture medium, and AggreWell™, for the formation of uniform embryoid bodies. To minimize reagent variability, the formulations, raw material specifications and manufacturing processes for all STEMdiff™ products have been carefully optimized. In addition, STEMdiff™ products include detailed, user-friendly protocols to help standardize your differentiation procedures. 


Neural rosettes derived
using STEMdiff™ Neural Induction Medium: SOX1 (green), ZO-1 (red), DAPI (blue).


STEMdiff™ Neural System: For Serum-Free Neural Progenitor Cell Generation, Expansion and Cryopreservation

The STEMdiff™ Neural System comprises a suite of defined and serum-free products for generating, isolating, expanding and cryopreserving human pluripotent stem cell-derived neural progenitor cells (NPCs).

Advantages of STEMdiff™ Neural System:

Defined and serum-free workflow
Rapid neural induction: STEMdiff™ Neural Induction Medium
Efficient expansion of NPCs: STEMdiff™ Neural Progenitor Medium
High-recovery cryopreservation: STEMdiff™ Neural Progenitor Freezing Medium
Convenient, user-friendly format and protocols

The STEMdiff™ Neural System is compatible with both embryoid body (EB)-based and monolayer culture-based protocols for neural induction. Neural rosette clusters, a sign of early neural differentiation in the EB-based protocol, can be selected and isolated for further experiments using STEMdiff™ Neural Rosette Selection Reagent.

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Definitive endoderm
progenitors derived using
STEMdiff™ Definitive
Endoderm Kit: SOX17
(red), FOXA2 (green).

STEMdiff™ Definitive Endoderm Kit: For Animal Component-Free, Efficient Differentiation

The STEMdiff™ Definitive Endoderm Kit enables differentiation of human embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells to multipotent definitive endoderm.

Advantages of STEMdiff™ Definitive Endoderm Kit:

Defined, serum-free and animal component-free
Optimized for use with cells maintained in mTeSR™1 or TeSR™2 cell culture media
Efficient and reproducible differentiation of multiple ES cell and iPS cell lines
Differentiated cells co-express SOX17, CXCR4, FOXA2 and c-KIT
Convenient, user-friendly format and protocol
Definitive endoderm generated using this kit can be further differentiated to multiple downstream endodermal cell lineages including hepatic, pancreatic, intestinal and pulmonary.
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Cardiomyocytes (left), hematopoietic cells (right) and definitive endoderm (bottom), derived using STEMdiff™ APEL™ Medium.

STEMdiff™ APEL™ Media: For Versatile, User-Directed Differentiation

STEMdiff™ APEL™ Medium and STEMdiff™ APEL™-LI Medium are animal component-free cell culture media for differentiation of human embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells to a variety of lineages, including endothelial,5 smooth muscle,5 hematopoietic,6,7 skeletal muscle8 and cardiomyocyte.9 Appropriate induction factors must be added to induce directed differentiation.

Advantages of STEMdiff™ APEL™ Media:

Defined and animal component-free
Versatile, growth factor-free formulation
Unsupplemented medium supports cell survival without lineage bias
Can be used to direct differentiation to a variety of cell lineages
Can be used in adherent- or embryoid body-based protocols

As lineage-neutral yet supportive cell culture media, STEMdiff™ APEL™ and STEMdiff™ APEL™-LI allow researchers to customize their differentiation protocols and discover new regulatory factors or pathways.

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Uniform embryoid bodies formed using AggreWell™ plates.


AggreWell™: For Uniform Embryoid Body Formation

Many protocols for differentiating human embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells start with the formation of embryoid bodies (EBs). Conventional EB formation methods result in EBs of heterogeneous size and shape, leading to inefficient and uncontrolled differentiation.10,11 AggreWell™ plates allow users to produce uniformly-shaped EBs of controlled size, making differentiation experiments more reproducible.12

Advantages of AggreWell™ Plates:

Forms EBs of uniform size and shape
Enables the user to control size from 10 cells to 20,000 cells per EB
Reduces variability in differentiation protocols that utilize EBs
Suitable for high-throughput procedures
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  1. D’Amour KA et al. Efficient differentiation of human embryonic stem cells to definitive endoderm. Nature Biotechnology 23(12):1534-41, 2005
  2. Kattman SJ et al. Stage-Specific Optimization of Activin/Nodal and BMP Signaling Promotes Cardiac Differentiation of Mouse and Human Pluripotent Stem Cell Lines. Cell Stem Cell 8(2): 228-240, 2011
  3. Linta L et al. Calcium activated potassium channel expression during human iPS cell-derived neurogenesis. Ann Anat, 195(4): 303–311, 2013
  4. Xia G et al. Generation of Human-Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells to Model Spinocerebellar Ataxia Type 2 In Vitro. J Mol Neurosci 51(2): 237-248, 2012
  5. Tan JY et al. Efficient Derivation of Lateral Plate and Paraxial Mesoderm Subtypes from Human Embryonic Stem Cells Through GSKi-Mediated Differentiation. Stem Cells Dev 22(13): 1893-1906, 2013
  6. Protocol adapted from Chadwick et al. 2003 and Ng et al. 2008, and discussed in this Technical Bulletin
  7. Gertow et al. WNT3A Promotes Hematopoietic or Mesenchymal Differentiation from hESCs Depending on the Time of Exposure. Stem Cell Reports 1(1):53-65, 2013
  8. Xu C et al. A Zebrafish Embryo Culture System Defines Factors that Promote Vertebrate Myogenesis across Species. 155(4): 909-921, 2013
  9. Elliott DA et al. NKX2-5(eGFP/w) hESCs for isolation of human cardiac progenitors and cardiomyocytes. Nat Methods 8(12):1037-1040, 2011
  10. Bauwens CL et al. Control of human embryonic stem cell colony and aggregate size heterogeneity influences differentiation trajectories. Stem Cells 26(9): 2300-2310, 2008
  11. Bratt-Leal AM, et al. Engineering the embryoid body microenvironment to direct embryonic stem cell differentiation. Biotechnol Prog 25(1): 43-51, 2009
  12. Yanai A, et al. Differentiation of Human Embryonic Stem Cells Using Size-Controlled Embryoid Bodies and Negative Cell Selection in the Production of Photoreceptor Precursor Cells. Tissue Eng Part C Methods 19(10): 755-764, 2013

11 products available

Product Name Description Catalog # Size Price Quantity
STEMdiff™ Neural Induction Medium
New Product
Complete medium for the induction of neural differentiation 05835 250 mL 239.00 USD
STEMdiff™ APEL™ Medium Basal medium for the differentiation of hPSCs 05210 100 mL 129.00 USD
STEMdiff™ Definitive Endoderm Kit
New Product
Animal component-free medium for the differentiation of ES and iPS cells to definitive endoderm 05110 1 kit 299.00 USD
STEMdiff™ Neural Progenitor Medium For maintenance and expansion of neural progenitor cells derived from human ES and iPS cells 05833 1 Kit 299.00 USD
STEMdiff™ Definitive Endoderm Kit (TeSR™-E8™ Optimized)
New Product
STEMdiff™ Definitive Endoderm Kit (TeSR™-E8™ Optimized) 05115 1 kit 359.00 USD
STEMdiff™ APEL™-LI Medium
New Product
Low-insulin, serum- and animal-component free medium for the differentiation of human ES and iPS cells 05211 100 mL 129.00 USD
STEMdiff™ Neural Rosette Selection Reagent An enzyme-free reagent for the selective detachment of neural rosette clusters 05832 100 mL 35.00 USD
STEMdiff™ Neural Progenitor Freezing Medium For cryopreservation of neural progenitor cells generated with STEMdiff™ Neural Induction Medium 05838 100 mL 199.00 USD
STEMdiff™ Human Neural Progenitor Antibody Panel
New Product
Antibody-based neural progenitor cell identification panel 69001 1 Kit 1495.00 USD
STEMdiff™ Neural Induction Medium
New Product
Complete medium for the induction of neural differentiation 05839 2 x 250 mL 395.00 USD

Educational Resources


 Products for Human Pluripotent Stem Cells
 Easy, Standardized hPSC Differentiation to Definitive Endoderm
 STEMdiff™ Neural System for hPSC-Derived Neural Progenitor Cell Research
 Human Primary Cells for More Physiologically Relevant Research
 Small Molecules for Stem Cell Research


 Pluripotent Stem Cell Biology Wallchart
 Directed Differentiation of Pluripotent Stem Cells Wallchart

Tech bulletin

 STEMdiff™ APEL™ Medium
 STEMdiff™ Neural Induction Medium
 A Monolayer Culture Method for Neural Induction of hPSCs

Scientific Poster

 A Novel and Efficient System for the Generation of Neural Progenitor Cells from Human Pluripotent Stem Cells using STEMdiff™ Neural Induction Medium and STEMDIFF™ Neural Rosette Selection Reagent
 STEMdiff™ Neural Induction Medium - Neural Progenitor Cells Differentiated from hPSCs
 Highly efficient differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells to multipotent definitive endoderm using the serum-free and animal component-free STEMdiff™ Definitive Endoderm Culture System
 STEMdiff™ Neural Induction System for the Generation and Maintenance of Neural Progenitor Cells from Human Pluripotent Stem Cells using Aggregate or Monolayer Condition Methods
 Generation, Maintenance and Cryopreservation of Neural Progenitor Cells Derived from Human Pluripotent Stem Cells Using the STEMdiff™ Neural System
 Neural progenitor cells can be generated efficiently using STEMdiff™ Neural Induction Medium by either Embryoid body or Monolayer Culture Methods


 Generation of Neural Progenitor Cells from hPSCs using STEMdiff™ Neural Induction Medium