Feeder-free, xeno-free culture medium for maintenance of human ES and iPS cells

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TeSR™-E8™ Kit for hESC/hiPSC Maintenance

Feeder-free, xeno-free culture medium for maintenance of human ES and iPS cells

500 mL Kit
Catalog #05940
209 USD



TeSR™-E8™ is a feeder-free, xeno-free culture medium for human embryonic stem (ES) cells and human induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells. It is based on the E8 formulation developed by the laboratory of Dr. James Thomson (University of Wisconsin-Madison), the lead research group behind the design of mTeSR™1, the most widely-published feeder-free culture medium for pluripotent stem cells.

Like mTeSR™1, TeSR™-E8™ medium is made with the highest level of quality and care. It contains only the essential components required for maintenance of ES and iPS cells, providing a simpler medium for the culture of pluripotent stem cells. TeSR™-E8™ can be used with Corning® Matrigel® hESC-qualified matrix, or, for a completely xeno-free system, Vitronectin XF™ .
Simplified, low-protein formulation based on the popular mTeSR™ 1 medium for maintaining human ES and iPS cells
    • TeSR™-E8™ Basal Medium, 474 mL
    • TeSR™-E8™ 20X Supplement, 25 mL
    • TeSR™-E8™ 500X Supplement, 1 mL
Specialized Media
Cell Type:
Pluripotent Stem Cells
Maintenance; Expansion; Cell Culture
Area of Interest:
Stem Cell Biology
Serum-Free; Defined

Technical Resources

Product Applications

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.

Data and Publications


High Expansion Rates are Observed in TeSR™-E8™ Cultures

Figure 1. High Expansion Rates are Observed in TeSR™-E8™ Cultures

Graph shows the average fold expansion per passage +/- SEM obtained for human ES and iPS cells cultured in TeSR™-E8™ with Corning® Matrigel® over 10 passages (orange). Representative data is also shown for human ES cells cultured in mTeSR™1 using a similar protocol for comparison (Gray). Expansion was determined by enumerating the cell aggregates obtained at harvest and dividing by the number of cell aggregates seeded. Note that this data is representative of cultures passaged after 6-7 days in culture, lower expansion should be expected if using shorter culture times.

Normal Human ES and iPS Cell Morphology is Observed in TeSR™-E8™ Cultures

Figure 2. Normal Human ES and iPS Cell Morphology is Observed in TeSR™-E8™ Cultures

Undifferentiated human ES (H1) and iPS (A13700) cells cultured on Corning® Matrigel® Matrix in TeSR™-E8™ retain the prominent nucleoli and high nuclear-to-cytoplasm ratio characteristic of this cell type. Densely packed cells and multi-layering are prominent when cells are ready to be passaged.

Cells Cultured in TeSR™-E8™ Medium Express Undifferentiated Cell Markers

Figure 3. Cells Cultured in TeSR™-E8™ Medium Express Undifferentiated Cell Markers

(A) Histogram analysis for H1 and H9 human ES cells characterized using FACS for undifferentiated cell markers (SSEA3 and OCT4) after 10 passages in TeSR™-E8™ (blue = sample, black = secondary antibody only). (B) H1 cells cultured in TeSR™-E8™ medium were characterized by OCT4 immunostaining after 18 passages.

Uniformly-sized Embryoid Bodies Differentiated from Cells Cultured in TeSR™-E8™

Figure 4. Uniformly-Sized Embryoid Bodies Differentiated from Cells Cultured in TeSR™-E8™

(A) H1 cells cultured using TeSR™-E8™ on Corning® Matrigel® were dissociated to single cells using standard techniques, then placed in an AggreWell™ 400 plate containing AggreWell™ medium and 10 µM Y-27632 for 24 hours, (B) after which they were transferred to an ultra low-adherence (ULA) plate for inspection.


Cell metabolism 2016 SEP

α-Ketoglutarate Accelerates the Initial Differentiation of Primed Human Pluripotent Stem Cells

TeSlaa T et al.


Pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) can self-renew or differentiate from naive or more differentiated, primed, pluripotent states established by specific culture conditions. Increased intracellular -ketoglutarate (KG) was shown to favor self-renewal in naive mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs). The effect of KG or KG/succinate levels on differentiation from primed human PSCs (hPSCs) or mouse epiblast stem cells (EpiSCs) remains unknown. We examined primed hPSCs and EpiSCs and show that increased KG or KG-to-succinate ratios accelerate, and elevated succinate levels delay, primed PSC differentiation. KG has been shown to inhibit the mitochondrial ATP synthase and to regulate epigenome-modifying dioxygenase enzymes. Mitochondrial uncoupling did not impede KG-accelerated primed PSC differentiation. Instead, KG induced, and succinate impaired, global histone and DNA demethylation in primed PSCs. The data support KG promotion of self-renewal or differentiation depending on the pluripotent state.
Scientific reports 2016 MAR

TGF signaling regulates the choice between pluripotent and neural fates during reprogramming of human urine derived cells.

Wang L et al.


Human urine cells (HUCs) can be reprogrammed into neural progenitor cells (NPCs) or induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) with defined factors and a small molecule cocktail, but the underlying fate choice remains unresolved. Here, through sequential removal of individual compound from small molecule cocktail, we showed that A8301, a TGF signaling inhibitor, is sufficient to switch the cell fate from iPSCs into NPCs in OSKM-mediated HUCs reprogramming. However, TGF exposure at early stage inhibits HUCs reprogramming by promoting EMT. Base on these data, we developed an optimized approach for generation of NPCs or iPSCs from HUCs with significantly improved efficiency by regulating TGF activity at different reprogramming stages. This approach provides a simplified and improved way for HUCs reprogramming, thus would be valuable for banking human iPSCs or NPCs from people with different genetic background.
Cell stem cell 2016 JUN

Identification and Correction of Mechanisms Underlying Inherited Blindness in Human iPSC-Derived Optic Cups

Parfitt DA et al.


Summary Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA) is an inherited retinal dystrophy that causes childhood blindness. Photoreceptors are especially sensitive to an intronic mutation in the cilia-related gene CEP290, which causes missplicing and premature termination, but the basis of this sensitivity is unclear. Here, we generated differentiated photoreceptors in three-dimensional optic cups and retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) from iPSCs with this common CEP290 mutation to investigate disease mechanisms and evaluate candidate therapies. iPSCs differentiated normally into RPE and optic cups, despite abnormal CEP290 splicing and cilia defects. The highest levels of aberrant splicing and cilia defects were observed in optic cups, explaining the retinal-specific manifestation of this CEP290 mutation. Treating optic cups with an antisense morpholino effectively blocked aberrant splicing and restored expression of full-length CEP290, restoring normal cilia-based protein trafficking. These results provide a mechanistic understanding of the retina-specific phenotypes in CEP290 LCA patients and potential strategies for therapeutic intervention.
Stem Cell Research 2016 JUL

Large-scale time-lapse microscopy of Oct4 expression in human embryonic stem cell colonies

Bhadriraju K et al.


Identification and quantification of the characteristics of stem cell preparations is critical for understanding stem cell biology and for the development and manufacturing of stem cell based therapies. We have developed image analysis and visualization software that allows effective use of time-lapse microscopy to provide spatial and dynamic information from large numbers of human embryonic stem cell colonies. To achieve statistically relevant sampling, we examined textgreater 680 colonies from 3 different preparations of cells over 5 days each, generating a total experimental dataset of 0.9 terabyte (TB). The 0.5 Giga-pixel images at each time point were represented by multi-resolution pyramids and visualized using the Deep Zoom Javascript library extended to support viewing Giga-pixel images over time and extracting data on individual colonies. We present a methodology that enables quantification of variations in nominally-identical preparations and between colonies, correlation of colony characteristics with Oct4 expression, and identification of rare events.
Cell cycle (Georgetown, Tex.) 2016 JAN

Non-integrating episomal plasmid-based reprogramming of human amniotic fluid stem cells into induced pluripotent stem cells in chemically defined conditions.

Slamecka J et al.


Amniotic fluid stem cells (AFSC) represent an attractive potential cell source for fetal and pediatric cell-based therapies. However, upgrading them to pluripotency confers refractoriness toward senescence, higher proliferation rate and unlimited differentiation potential. AFSC were observed to rapidly and efficiently reacquire pluripotency which together with their easy recovery makes them an attractive cell source for reprogramming. The reprogramming process as well as the resulting iPSC epigenome could potentially benefit from the unspecialized nature of AFSC. iPSC derived from AFSC also have potential in disease modeling, such as Down syndrome or -thalassemia. Previous experiments involving AFSC reprogramming have largely relied on integrative vector transgene delivery and undefined serum-containing, feeder-dependent culture. Here, we describe non-integrative oriP/EBNA-1 episomal plasmid-based reprogramming of AFSC into iPSC and culture in fully chemically defined xeno-free conditions represented by vitronectin coating and E8 medium, a system that we found uniquely suited for this purpose. The derived AF-iPSC lines uniformly expressed a set of pluripotency markers Oct3/4, Nanog, Sox2, SSEA-1, SSEA-4, TRA-1-60, TRA-1-81 in a pattern typical for human primed PSC. Additionally, the cells formed teratomas, and were deemed pluripotent by PluriTest, a global expression microarray-based in-silico pluripotency assay. However, we found that the PluriTest scores were borderline, indicating a unique pluripotent signature in the defined condition. In the light of potential future clinical translation of iPSC technology, non-integrating reprogramming and chemically defined culture are more acceptable.
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