Serum substitute for high density cell culture systems

CDM-HD serum substitute can be used in 2-compartment high density mammalian culture systems where cell densities exceed 10e7/ml. Under these condtions cell-secreted conditioning factors play a significant role in supporting the culture, to the extent that serum may no longer be required. In such cases serum can usually be completely replaced with a simple, low-cost chemically defined substitute, CDM-HD.  CDM-HD can be employed in the FiberCell hollow fibre bioreactor, for example, to eliminate the cost, risks and lot-testing associated with serum use. In FiberCell bioreactor most types of cells require no adaptation period when switching from serum. CDM-HD is protein-free and so greatly facilitates product purification. It is also cGMP compliant.

Example uses of CDM-HD serum substitute

Single step switch to serum free conditions

It takes a few days for the contaminating serum proteins to be cleared once the switch to CDM-HD has been made. Afterwards the target protein is usually the dominant protein in the unpurified supernatant.

Data courtesy of: Dr. Erin Bromage c/o the
US Veterinary Immune Reagents Network

Example uses of CDM-HD

MAb harvesting – 2 different MAbs

Secreted products such as monoclonal antibodies and recombinant proteins are free of contaminating proteins from the medium and can be purified using simplified protocols, increasing net yield in many cases.

Example use of CDM-HD

Antibody from the FiberCell HFBR was very clean and properly folded.

Lane 1: control (3 ug)
Lanes 2, 3 and 4: unpurified harvests from the cartridge on day 7, 9 and 12 (DMEM and 10% CDM-HD) (2µl)
Lane 5: 10X conc. supernatant from a T-flask (using DMEM and 10% CDM-HD) (2µl)
Lane 6: T flask (using DMEM and 10% serum) (2µl)

Concentration of supernatant from HFBR:  2.5 mg/ml.

Data courtesy of Liying Lu, University of Massachusetts, Worcester, Worcester, Massachusetts.

What are the components of CDM-HD serum substitute?

Components of CDM-HD: CDM-HD does not contain:
Customized ratios of amino acids and metabolites Protein
Vitamins and co-factors Hydrolysates
Trace elements Undefined reagents
Micro-nutrients Animal-derived components
Extra buffering capacity Steroid hormones or peptide mitogens
Recombinant growth factors Phenol red
Carbohydrates, including 1 gram of glucose/L Plurionic Detergent
All low molecular weight components, nothing larger than 3 kd High molecular weight materials including synthetic polymers

CDM-HD is produced under GMP conditions


Efficient production and enhanced tumor delivery of engineered extracellular vesicles: Watson DC et al.; Biomaterials 105, 2016: 195-205 [Open Access]

Efficient production and purification of recombinant human interleukin-12 (IL-12) overexpressed in mammalian cells without affinity tag: Jayanthi S. et al.; Protein Expr Purif. 2014 Oct; 102: 76–84. [Open Access]

Take full advantage of high cell density mammalian cell culture
and avoid using serum

The inconvenience of serum-containing media and the high cost of specialty medias can be avoided by employing CDM-HD Serum Replacement in high density culture systems.

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Have a question?

Download the FiberCell product sheet and instructions for use or email us at