Growth Media

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NbActiv1™ neuron culture medium is a pre-mixed version of Neurobasal™ + B27™ + Glutamax™. NbActiv1, the predecessor to our new NbActiv4, Neurobasal and B27 was developed in 1993 by our founder Greg Brewer,(PM:8377226). It is a serum-free medium optimized for neuron survival after 4 days of growth. Many neuron types can be cultured in NbActiv1, (PM:8600300). Glutamax even replaces the usual glutamine.


NbMicroPro medium is a premixed medium designed to promote the proliferation of Microglia. NbMicroPro is a mixture of components that push Microglia to proliferate at much faster rate than our standard medias. Microglia have shown an increase in cell number up to 3X’s from the initial seeding densities within six days in culture. This allows you to perform variety of assays within a shorter amount of time. This media is premixed and ready for use! No thawing. No pipetting. Less risk of contamination. NbMicroPro should be stored at 4°C and has a shelf life of up to a month if unopened. This media is designed for use at 37°C in a 5% CO2 incubator. Microglia are subject to less oxidative stress if the oxygen is regulated at 9%. NbMicroPro must be shipped overnight.

NbActiv4 (For Primary Neuron Cultures)

NbActiv4® neuron culture medium is an improved version of Neurobasaltm / B27tm. NbActiv4 grows neurons with twice as many synapses and up to 8x higher spike rates than Neurobasal/B27.

NbCo-Culture™ Medium

NbCo-Culture media is a mix of components that push cell cultures to produce primary neuronal cells as well as astroglia cells. This media, stops the hassle of creating a monolayer of astroglia and waiting for confluence. Now you can culture both cells and allow them to grow as normally. To stop astroglia growth, simply replace the media with our NbActiv4 growth media by performing a full media exchange.

NbActiv4 minus phenol red (For Primary Neuron Cultures) 500ml

NbActiv4® neuron culture medium without phenol red is an improved version of Neurobasaltm / B27tm. NbActiv4 grows neurons with twice as many synapses and up to 8x higher spike rates than Neurobasal/B27. NbActiv4 minus phenol red was optimized for maximum spike rates by addition of 3 new components to Neurobasal/B27: creatine, estrogen and cholesterol. Measures of respiration indicated that neurons in NbActiv4 were under less metabolic stress and operated more efficiently under demand loading from glutamate. These results suggest that NbActiv4 will be a convenient and useful serum-free neuron culture medium for electrophysiology, developmental synaptic plasticity, neuronal network analyses, pharmacology, toxicology and drug discovery. Synapses and spiking activity develop earlier, starting at 1 week in NbActiv4 compared to Neurobasal/B27 (Brewer et al. 2008. Neuron network activity scales exponentially with synapse density. J. Neural Eng., in press) Brewer,GJ., Boehler, MD; Jones, TT, Wheeler, BC. 2008. NbActiv4 medium for neurons increases synaptic densities and network spike rates on multielectrode arrays compared to Neurobasal/B27. J. Neurosci. meth. 170:181-187 (PM 18308400) Strategies for switching to NbActiv4® from Neurobasal/B27 NbActiv4 contains all the ingredients in Neurobasal + B27 +Glutamax (all Invitrogen). It can be stored at 4 °C for up to 6 months if unopened. It should not be frozen. Both media (Neurobasal/B27 and NbActiv4) are designed for use at 37 °C in a 5% CO2 incubator. Neurons are subject to less oxidative stress if the oxygen is also regulated at 9%. To evaluate NbActiv4 in the context of current experiments, we suggest a side-by-side comparison. For new lines of study, experiments can begin directly with NbActiv4. Beginning cultures in Neurobasal/B27 followed by a switch to NbActiv4 shows no indication of being better than use of NbActiv4 from the start. One-Half medium changes with incubator temperature equilibrated medium should be performed at least once a week, with more frequent changes at cell densities above 300 cells/mm2. NBActiv4 must be shipped overnight. Click here for our Primary Neuronal Culturing Protocol. Please do not hesitate to contact us with questions.

NbASTRO (For Astrocyte Cultures)

NbASTRO glial culture medium is a pre-mixed version of Neurobasal™ + Horse Serum + Glutamax™. BrainBits® NbASTRO is specifically formulated to support the growth of primary rat and mouse astrocyte cultures (PMID: 18345351). NbASTRO has been optimized for cell growth, survival, normal phenotype and biological function.