The effect of medium selection on adipose-derived stem cell expansion and differentiation: implications for application in regenerative medicine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • Queen Victoria Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  • University of Brighton


The use of adipose-derived stem cells is wide-spread in both basic biology and regenerative medicine, due to the abundance of adipose tissue and the multipotent differentiation potential of the cells. However, the methods used to isolate and culture cells vary greatly between different research groups. Identification of medium formulations which provide rapid cell expansion while maintaining cell phenotype would have clear advantages. We compared growth and differentiation potential along the adipogenic lineage in human ADSCs in nine different media. We further assessed induced and spontaneous differentiation along the adipogenic, chondrogenic and osteogenic lineage in three different media. There was significant variation in the rate of growth between different media. All media supported ADSC phenotype and adipogenic differentiation, although there was variation between the different media. Differentiation along the adipogenic, chondrogenic and osteogenic lineages in the three media was confirmed, with some upregulation of specific genes observed when cells were left to spontaneously differentiate. Our study shows a direct comparison of human ADSCs grown in different media, both reported in the literature and commercially available. It indicates that rapid proliferation occurs most often in media which contain 10 % foetal bovine serum and that differentiation along different lineages can be induced but also occurs spontaneously once cells become confluent. These data provide a tool for other researchers to facilitate the choice of medium formulation most appropriate for different applications.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)957-967
Number of pages11
Issue number4
Early online date21 Mar 2015
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2016


  • Adipose-derived stem cells, Cell therapy, Stem cells, Tissue regeneration