Minimum Essential Media (MEM) In Hanks’ Buffer


Minimum Essential Media (MEM) In Hanks’ Buffer is a modification of Basal Medium Eagle . It was originally developed by Harry Eagle for specific  requirements of certain subtypes. Additionally, it includes higher concentrations of amino acids which is more suitable for cultured mammalian cells. Moreover, PurMa Biologics manufactures MEM with Earle’s buffer for use in a CO2 incubator, or with Hanks’ salts for use without CO2.

PurMa MEM media in Hank’s buffer includes Hank’s buffer

Hanks buffer, it contains:

  1. Potassium Chloride
  2. Potassium Phosphate, monobasic
  3. Sodium Bicarbonate
  4. Sodium Chloride
  5. Sodium Phosphate, dibasic

Additionally, MEM in Hanks’ Buffer contains:

  • Low level of glucose (1.00 g/ liter)
  • Sodium bicarbonate (0.35 g/L). If , however, higher than 5% CO2 is used, a higher % of sodium bicarbonate is needed.
  • 2 mM L-glutamine (292 mg/L)

Moreover, PurMa Biologics manufactures 122 types of MEM.


MEM has been used for the cultivation of a wide variety of cells grown in monolayers attached or in suspension cell lines such as HeLa, BHK-21, 293, HEP-2, HT-1080, MCF-7, and fibroblasts as well as primary rat astrocytes. MEM contains no proteins, lipids, or growth factors. Therefore, MEM requires supplementation, commonly with 10% fetal bovine serum (FBS).


Complete formulation click here as well as in Formulation Tab: MEM (HBSS) Formulation in Hanks’ Buffer


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  2. Myelin formation in rat dorsal root ganglion cultured in a serum-free medium. Ninomiya et al. J Anat. 1987 Jun;152:209-13. PMID: 3654371