BrainPhys™ Primary Neuron Kit
Kit for serum-free culture of primary tissue-derived neurons in BrainPhys™ Neuronal Medium
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What Our Scientist Says
I want to help neuroscientists like you create more physiological culture conditions, for more active and healthy neuronal cultures.
For your convenience, BrainPhys™ Neuronal Medium and SM1 Kit includes both serum-free BrainPhys™ Neuronal Medium (basal medium) and NeuroCult™ SM1 Neuronal Supplement and NeuroCult™ Neuronal Plating Medium, to provide a complete culture system for your primary-tissue-derived neurons. Based on the formulation by Bardy and Gage (Bardy et al. PNAS, 2015), BrainPhys™ Neuronal Medium mimics the extracellular environment of the CNS to yield a higher proportion of synaptically active neurons. NeuroCult™ SM1 Neuronal Supplement is a Brewer's B27-based supplement that ensures cell health and encourages neurite outgrowth and branching in short- and long-term cultures.
To avoid shocking your cells with media changes, you can also use BrainPhys™ medium when performing functional assays, such as microelectrode array-based recordings or live-fluorescent imaging.
View our additional resources to learn more about the BrainPhys™ system.
Table 1. Properties of Culture Media (C Bardy et al. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 2015)
Check-mark denotes physiological conditions and supported activities according to C Bardy et al. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 2015.
Figure 1. Protocol for Plating and Culturing Primary Neurons with the SM1 Culture System
Primary rodent tissue dissociated in papain was plated in NeuroCult™ Neuronal Plating Medium, supplemented with NeuroCult™ SM1 Neuronal Supplement, L-Glutamine, and L-Glutamic Acid. On day 5, primary neurons were transitioned to BrainPhys™ Neuronal Medium, supplemented with NeuroCult™ SM1 Neuronal Supplement, by performing half-medium changes every 3 - 4 days.
Figure 2. The SM1 Culture System Supports Long-Term Culture of Rodent Neurons
Primary E18 rat cortical neurons were cultured in the SM1 Culture System. A large number of viable neurons are visible after (A) 21 and (B) 35 days, as demonstrated by their bright neuronal cell bodies, and extensive neurite outgrowth and branching. Neurons are evenly distributed over the culture surface with minimal cell clumping.
Figure 3. Pre- and Post-Synaptic Markers are Expressed in Rodent Neurons Cultured in the SM1 Culture System
Primary E18 rat cortical neurons were cultured in the SM1 Culture System. At 21 DIV, neurons are phenotypically mature, as indicated by the presence of an extensive dendritic arbor, and appropriate expression and localization of pre-synaptic synapsin (A,C; green) and post-synaptic PSD-95 (A,B; red) markers. Synapsin is concentrated in discrete puncta distributed along the somata and dendritic processes, as defined by the dendritic marker MAP2 (A,D; blue).
Figure 4. The SM1 Culture System Supports Increased Cell Survival
(A) Primary E18 rat cortical neurons were cultured in the SM1 Culture System or a Competitor Culture System for 21 days. Neurons cultured in the SM1 Culture System have a significantly higher number of viable cells compared to the competitor culture system (n = 4; mean ± 95% CI; *p < 0.05). (B) Primary E18 rat cortical neurons were cultured in Neurobasal® supplemented with NeuroCult™ SM1 Neuronal Supplement (SM1) or competitor B27-like supplements (Competitor 1,2,3) for 21 days. Cultures supplemented with NeuroCult™ SM1 Neuronal Supplement have an equal number of neurons compared to competitor-supplemented cultures. Bars represent standard error of mean.
Figure 5. Rodent Neuronal Cultures Matured in BrainPhys™ Neuronal Medium Show Improved Excitatory and Inhibitory Synaptic Activity
(A,C) Primary rat E18 cortical neurons were plated in NeuroCult™ Neuronal Basal Medium (product superseded with NeuroCult™ Neuronal Plating Medium which is a part of the BrainPhys™ Primary Neuron Kit), supplemented with NeuroCult™ SM1 Neuronal Supplement. After 5 DIV, the cultures were transitioned to BrainPhys™ Neuronal Medium, supplemented with NeuroCult™ SM1 Neuronal Supplement, by performing half-medium changes every 3 - 4 days. Neurons were cultured for 21 DIV. (B,D) Primary rat E18 cortical neurons were plated and matured in a competitor neuronal medium (Neurobasal®), supplemented with NeuroCult™ SM1 Neuronal Supplement for 21 DIV. (A,C) Neurons matured in BrainPhys™ Neuronal Medium showed spontaneous excitatory (AMPA-mediated; A) and inhibitory (GABA-mediated; C) synaptic events. The frequency and amplitude of spontaneous synaptic events is consistently greater in neuronal cultures matured in BrainPhys™ Neuronal Medium, compared to neurons plated and matured in a competitor neuronal medium (B,D). Traces are representative.
Figure 6. Primary Neuronal Cultures Matured in BrainPhys™ Neuronal Medium Show Improved Electrical Activity in Microelectrode-Array Systems
Primary rat E18 cortical neurons were plated in a competitor neuronal medium (Neurobasal®) supplemented with NeuroCult™ SM1 Neuronal Supplement. After 5 DIV, half of the cultures were transitioned to BrainPhys™ Neuronal Medium, supplemented with NeuroCult™ SM1 Neuronal Supplement, by performing half-medium changes every 3 - 4 days. The other half of the cultures were maintained in the competitor neuronal medium throughout. The electrical activities of the neuronal cultures were measured twice a week using a microelectrode array (MEA) system (Axion Biosystems). (A) The mean firing rate of neurons cultured in BrainPhys™ Neuronal Medium increases over time, whereas the mean firing rate of neurons in the competitor neuronal medium condition remains low (n = 1; mean ± SEM, 128 electrodes). (B) The percentage of active electrodes (>0.005 Hz) of neurons matured in BrainPhys™ Neuronal Medium increases from 24% on day 14 to 69% on day 21, and then remains stable at 60 – 70% from days 21 – 44. In contrast, < 5% of electrodes was active in the competitor neuronal medium condition over the same 6-week period.
Protocols and Documentation
Find supporting information and directions for use in the Product Information Sheet or explore additional protocols below.
This product is designed for use in the following research area(s) as part of the highlighted workflow stage(s). Explore these workflows to learn more about the other products we offer to support each research area.
Resources and Publications
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BrainPhys™ Primary Neuron Kit
BrainPhys is a registered trademark of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, used under exclusive license.
PRODUCTS ARE FOR RESEARCH USE ONLY AND NOT INTENDED FOR HUMAN OR ANIMAL DIAGNOSTIC OR THERAPEUTIC USES UNLESS OTHERWISE STATED. FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON QUALITY AT STEMCELL, REFER TO WWW.STEMCELL.COM/COMPLIANCE.