StemSpan™: Stem Cell Maintenance & Expansion

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Culture of Hematopoietic Cells

Hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs) can be cultured under defined conditions designed either to increase the number of primitive cells, or to promote lineage-specific expansion and differentiation into mature hematopoietic cells.

The composition and biological properties of the cells produced in different culture systems will differ considerably depending on the diverse applications for which they are intended to be used.

These may include:
Production of large numbers of long-term HSCs that mediate sustained engraftment after transplantation
Production of short-term HSCs and progenitors to rapidly restore blood counts after transplantation
Generation of large numbers of mature blood cells for infusion following acute blood loss
Identifying novel regulators of hematopoiesis
Testing the toxicity of new drug candidates
Production of HSPCs for transduction with retroviral or lentiviral vectors to correct genetic defects

Therefore, HSPC culture systems must be designed and optimized to meet the goal of the experiment, with a special focus on:
Composition and purity of the starting cell population
Choice of culture medium, cytokine combinations and concentration
Duration of the culture, medium replacement and replating schedules
The choice of assays to characterize the cells during/after culture

StemSpan™ Serum-Free Expansion Media and Supplements

STEMCELL Technologies has developed StemSpan™ Hematopoietic Cell Expansion Media and Supplements to promote the expansion of HSPCs and/or stimulate their differentiation into mature cells of specific lineages.

StemSpan™ Expansion Media include serum-free, xeno-free and animal component-free formulations. StemSpan™ Expansion Media do not contain any cytokines, allowing researchers the flexibility to prepare a medium that meets their specific requirements.
StemSpan™ Expansion Supplements are pre-mixed cocktails of recombinant human cytokines and other additives formulated either to selectively expand CD34+ stem and progenitor cells, or stimulate their differentiation into erythroblasts or megakaryocytes. Add these Supplements to StemSpan™ or any other medium for culturing hematopoietic cells.

Advantages of StemSpan™

DEFINED AND SERUM-FREE. StemSpan™ ACF is the first commercially available animal component-free medium for culturing hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells. This medium contains only recombinant and synthetic components and allows researchers to use a defined medium supplemented with stimulators of choice.
SUPERIOR PERFORMANCE. When combined with the appropriate StemSpan™ Expansion Supplement, StemSpan™ SFEM II supports greater expansion of CD34+ cells, erythroid cells and megakaryocytes than other StemSpan™ formulations or media from other suppliers.

Select the StemSpan™ Medium and Expansion Supplement for Your Application

Use expandable tables below to select the appropriate StemSpan™ medium and Expansion Supplement or Cytokines for your research.

Select the StemSpan™ medium appropriate for your hematopoietic research application

  Product Name Catalog No.
Recommended for
Serum-Free Expansion Media StemSpan™ SFEM 09600
(100 mL)
(500 mL)
  • Culture of human hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPC)
  • Culture of mouse, rat, and non-human primate HSPCs
Pre-tested BSA, insulin, transferrin and supplements in IMDM
StemSpan™ SFEM II

(100 mL)
(500 mL)

  • Expansion of human HSPCs
  • Production of mature blood cells by expansion and lineage-specific differentiation of human HSPCs
Xeno-Free Medium StemSpan™ H3000

(100 mL)
(500 mL)

  • Culture of human HSPCs in the absence of non-human animal-derived components
Human-derived or recombinant human proteins in IMDM
Animal Component-Free Medium StemSpan™-ACF

(100 mL)
(500 mL)

  • Culture of human HSPCs in the absence of human- or animal-derived components
Recombinant and synthetic components only


Select the appropriate StemSpan™ Expansion Supplement to generate specific hematopoietic cell types in vitro


Product Name

Catalog No.



CD34+ Cell Expansion StemSpan™ CC100

(1 mL, 100X)

  • Contains both early- and late-acting cytokines
  • Stimulates the production of large numbers of human hematopoietic cells, including CD34+ progenitors
StemSpan™ CC110

(1 mL, 100X)

  • Contains early-acting cytokines
  • Stimulates similar expansion of CD34+ cells as CC100, but with higher purity
StemSpan™ CD34+ Expansion Supplement

(10 mL, 10X)

  • Recommended for selective expansion of human CD34+ HSPCs
  • Stimulates greater CD34+ cell expansion compared to CC100 and CC110
Other additives
Erythroid Cell Expansion StemSpan™ Erythroid Expansion Supplement

(1 mL, 100X)

  • Stimulates the production of human erythroid cells by expansion and lineage-specific differentiation of human HPCs
Megakaryocyte Expansion StemSpan™ Megakaryocyte Expansion Supplement*

(1 mL, 100X)

  • Stimulates the production of human megakaryocytes by expansion and lineage-specific differentiation of human HPCs

*Formerly known as CC220

Create your own cytokine cocktail to generate the desired numbers of specific hematopoietic cell types in vitro

References Citing StemSpan™ Products in Hematopoietic Cell Research

Author Title Journal Products
Application: Ex vivo expansion of HSPCs for rapid/sustained hematopoietic recovery post transplantation

Delaney et al.

Notch-mediated expansion of human cord blood progenitor cells capable of rapid myeloid reconstitution

Nature Medicine, 2010,
vol. 16, no. 2
StemSpan™ SFEM

Cutler et al.

Prostaglandin-modulated umbilical cord blood hematopoietic stem cell transplantation

Blood, 2013,
vol. 122, no. 17
StemSpan™ SFEM
Application: Generation of large numbers of mature blood cells in vitro

Leberbauer et al.

Different steroids co-regulate long-term expansion versus terminal differentiation in primary human erythroid progenitors

Blood, 2005 vol. 105, no. 1 StemSpan™ SFEM
Gaikwad et al. In Vitro Expansion of Erythroid Progenitors from Polycythemia Vera Patients Leads to Decrease in JAK2V617F Allele Experimental Hematology, 2007,
vol. 35, no. 4
StemSpan™ CC110
Kumkhaek et al. MASL1 induces erythroid differentiation in human erythropoietin-dependent CD34+ cells through the Raf/MEK/ERK pathway Blood, 2013, vol. 121, no. 16 StemSpan™ CC100
Application: Generating target cells for reprogramming to make induced pluripotent stem cells
Ohmine et al. Induced pluripotent stem cells from GMP-grade hematopoietic progenitor cells and mononuclear myeloid cells Stem Cell Research and Therapy, 2011,
vol. 2, issue 6
StemSpan™ H3000
StemSpan™ CC100
Application: Gene transfer into HSPCs
Lechman et al. Attenuation of miR-126 Activity Expands HSC In Vivo without Exhaustion Cell Stem Cell, 2012,
vol. 11, issue 6
StemSpan™ SFEM
Chin et al. Triplex-forming Peptide Nucleic Acids Induce Heritable Elevations in Gamma-globin Expression in Hematopoietic Progenitor Cells Molecular Therapy, 2013,
vol. 21, no. 3
StemSpan™ SFEM
StemSpan™ CC100

Educational Resources

Mini Review
Hematopoietic Stem and Progenitor Cells
Technical Bulletin
Culture of Hematopoietic Stem and Progenitor Cells

16 products available

Product Name Description Catalog # Size Price Quantity
StemSpan SFEM II, 100 mL
New Product
Serum-free medium for expansion of hematopoietic cells 09605 100 mL 110.00 USD
StemSpan™ SFEM
Top Seller
Serum-free medium for expansion of hematopoietic cells 09600 100 mL 98.00 USD
StemSpan™-ACF, 100 mL
New Product
Serum-free medium for expansion of hematopoietic cells. Completely human and animal component free medium. 09805 100 mL 128.00 USD
StemSpan™ H3000 Xeno-free and serum-free medium for expansion and culture of human hematopoietic cells 09800 100 mL 105.00 USD
StemSpan™ CD34+ Expansion Supplement (10X)
New Product
Serum-free culture supplement for expansion of human CD34+ hematopoietic cells 02691 10 mL 715.00 USD
StemSpan™ Erythroid Expansion Supplement (100X)
New Product
Serum-free culture supplement for expansion of human erythroid progenitor cells 02692 1 mL 511.00 USD
StemSpan™ CC100 Cytokine cocktail for expansion of human hematopoietic cells 02690 1 mL 474.00 USD
StemSpan™ CC110 Cytokine cocktail for expansion of human hematopoietic cells 02697 1 mL 620.00 USD
StemSpan™ Megakaryocyte Expansion Supplement (100X)
New Product
Cytokine cocktail for expansion of human megakaryocyte progenitors 02696 1 mL 291.00 USD
StemSpan™ Spinner Flask Flask to expand hematopoietic cells 28800 1 EA 589.00 USD