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Insulin-transferrin-sodium selenite media supplement

γ-irradiated, lyophilized powder, BioXtra, suitable for cell culture

ITS Supplement

Quality Level

biological source

human plasma



product line



lyophilized powder


cell culture | mammalian: suitable

UniProt accession no.

shipped in


storage temp.


Gene Information

human ... INS(3630)

General description

Serum-free and reduced serum formulations often require purified forms of the factors normally supplied by serum that are suitable for in vitro growth and differentiation studies. These important factors include insulin, transferrin, selenium, pyruvate, and ethanolamine.

INSULIN is a polypeptide hormone that promotes the uptake of glucose and amino acids and may owe observed mitogenic effect to this property.

TRANSFERRIN is an iron-transport protein. Iron is an essential trace element, but can be toxic in the free form. To nourish cells in culture, it is supplied bound to transferrin in serum.

SELENIUM is an essential trace element normally provided by Serum.

Nutritional studies indicate that the supplement components described are utilized by most mammalian cells. They enhance cell proliferation and decrease the serum requirement of many cell types. When the provided supplement is used with 2 to 4 percent serum, proliferation is reported to be similar to medium supplemented with 10 percent serum.
Insulin-transferrin-sodium selenite media supplement supports in vitro growth and maturation of follicles from oocyte and is routinely used in in vitro fertilization methods.


Insulin-transferrin-sodium selenite media supplement has been used as:
  • medium 199 (M199) media supplement for cardiac myocytes culture
  • Roswell Park Memorial Institute (RPMI) 1640 medium component for pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) culture
  • Dulbecco′s Modified Eagle Medium (DMEM) supplement in ID8 ovarian carcinoma cells

Other Notes

ITS is a mixture of recombinant human insulin, human transferrin, and sodium selenite. It is a general cell supplement designed for use in non-complex media (e.g. MEM, RPMI-1640) and complex media (e.g. Ham?s F-12, DME/F-12, MEM) with sodium pyruvate.
Each vial contains: ≥21 mg recombinant human insulin; ≥19 mg human transferrin (substantially iron free), and 25 μg sodium selenite.


Each vial sufficient to prepare 5 liters of medium.

Storage Class Code

11 - Combustible Solids



Flash Point(F)

Not applicable

Flash Point(C)

Not applicable

Personal Protective Equipment

dust mask type N95 (US), Eyeshields, Gloves

Certificate of Analysis

Enter Lot Number to search for Certificate of Analysis (COA).

Certificate of Origin

Enter Lot Number to search for Certificate of Origin (COO).

Product Information Sheet

Quotes and Ordering

  1. Which document(s) contains shelf-life or expiration date information for a given product?

    If available for a given product, the recommended re-test date or the expiration date can be found on the Certificate of Analysis.

  2. How do I get lot-specific information or a Certificate of Analysis?

    The lot specific COA document can be found by entering the lot number above under the "Documents" section.

  3. How should I reconstitute I1884, Insulin-transferrin-sodium selenite media supplement (ITS Supplement)?

    First, make acidified water by adding acetic acid to reduce the pH to approximately 2. To prepare a stock solution, dissolve the contents of the vial in 5 mL sterile, acidified water and swirl to dissolve. Then add 45 mL of sterile water. This prepared solution is at 100X.  It is diluted 100 fold (1 ml to 100 ml) to give a 1X final concentration.

  4. What is the stability of I1884, Insulin-transferrin-sodium selenite media supplement (ITS Supplement), in solution?

    The stock solution can be frozen in working aliquots. Avoid repeated freeze/thaw cycles. Frozen working aliquots will be stable for at least one year. The solution is stable at 2-8°C for 30 days.

  5. What is the activity of insulin in I1884, Insulin-transferrin-sodium selenite media supplement (ITS Supplement)?

    The starting material has an activity of greater than or equal to 25.2 USP units/mg insulin.  The concentration of insulin at 100X is 5 mg/L.

  6. How do I find price and availability?

    There are several ways to find pricing and availability for our products. Once you log onto our website, you will find the price and availability displayed on the product detail page. You can contact any of our Customer Sales and Service offices to receive a quote.  USA customers:  1-800-325-3010 or view local office numbers.

  7. What is the Department of Transportation shipping information for this product?

    Transportation information can be found in Section 14 of the product's (M)SDS.To access the shipping information for this material, use the link on the product detail page for the product. 

  8. My question is not addressed here, how can I contact Technical Service for assistance?

    Ask a Scientist here.

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The effects of different concentrations of sodium selenite on the in vitro maturation of preantral follicles in serum-free and serum supplemented media
Abedelahi A, et al.
Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics, 25(9-10), 483-488 (2008)
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Transferrin in Cell Culture

How transferrin and other cell culture components affect the performance of serum-free, protein-free cell culture systems used for biomanufacturing heterologous proteins including monoclonal antibodies. The page introduces the in vitro chemistry and biochemistry of transferrin.

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