Optimisation of growth factor media for differentiation of SH-SY5Y cells. (a) SH-SY5Y cells were plated on 6 well plates coated with laminin and incubated in regular DMEM media containing 10% FBS (Complete media Control), serum free DMEM (Serum free media Control), serum free media containing 100 nM NGF, serum free media containing 50 nM IGF-1 or DMEM containing 3% FBS and 10 μM RA for 72 hours. Pictures were taken using Metamorph software. Scale bar = 50 μm (b) Cells were counted from each condition and the number of differentiated cells was expressed as a percentage of the total cells counted ± SEM, n = 3. (c) The length of the neurites extending from the SH-SY5Y cells after 72 hours differentiation were measured and the average length for each media was expressed in a graph ± SEM, n = 3. Significant differences were measured by ANOVA (#P < 0.05 for comparisons between serum free media and all other treatments; *P < 0.05 for comparisons between RA media and all other treatments.