Cell Media Facility

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The facility provides medium in both standard and custom formulations. Standard media which are commonly prepared are DMEM, MEM, RPMI 1640, DME/F-12, L-15, Joklik, and TC-100. These media can be customized by the addition of supplements such as HEPES and Sodium Pyruvate. Serum and antibiotics may also be added to the medium for an additional fee. If completely custom formulations are needed, the facility can make them in the required amounts at a fraction of the cost that would be charged by commercial sources. Media can be obtained in either 500mL or 1L bottles.


Housed within the facility are 2 large CO2 incubators and 2 laminar-flow hoods. It is therefore possible for the facility to grow and maintain cell lines upon request. Assistance in the cryopreservation and recovery of cells, as well as, training in other basic cell culture techniques are also available.


The facility keeps in stock a supply of competent DH5α cells. Each batch of cells is tested for both efficiency and possible DNA contamination. The efficiency of each batch is guaranteed to be at least 4 X 107CFU/µg. Many of the batches are 108. Cells are sold in 500µL aliquots, the unused portion of which may be refrozen once in smaller aliquots by the user without a loss of efficiency. If other strains of competent cells are needed, they can be requested as a custom service.


Culture plates can be economically prepared by the facility with the assistance of an automatic plate pourer which greatly reduces labor time.

The facility keeps the following types of plates in stock:
LB (no antibiotics), individually wrapped
LB + ampicillin (100µg/mL) in sleeves of 20
LB + kanamycin (50µg/mL) in sleeves of 20

Automatic culture plate instrumentThese are available from a refrigerator in 494 RAL, 24 hours a day. Custom plates containing other types and combinations of antibiotics or supplements can also be prepared upon request.

The facility has also prepared many plates for the culture of yeast. Since there is such a diversity in the types of media used, yeast plates are custom made. The cost of such plates is based on the cost of any unfurnished materials plus labor time.

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Cell Media Facility
School of Chemical Sciences
491 Roger Adams Lab
600 S. Mathews Ave.
Urbana, IL 61801
Dr. Sandra McMasters, Director

(217) 244-5898
smattick [at] illinois [dot] edu

campus mail:
Box B-4, MC-712
Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Monday through Friday

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