A significant degree of cell damage is observed during suspension cell culture with air sparging. Protective agents can be added to the culture medium to protect the cells from damage. It has been observed that cells tend to adhere to air-medium interfaces and cell damage is mainly due to this cell-bubble interaction; protective additives have been found to prevent this cell adhesion to the bubble surfaces. In this article, it is demonstrated that the interfacial tension between the air and medium is related to the effectiveness of the protective additives to prevent adhesion of cells to this interface. Five different types of additives (Pluronic F-68, Methocels, dextran, Polyvinyl alcohol, and polyethylene glycols) were studied in an effort to determine their protective characteristics. Liquid-vapor interfacial tensions of the culture medium, with and without the additives, were measured by two different techniques (maximum bubble pressure method and Wilhelmy plate method). In addition, visualization techniques showed that in the presence of certain protective additives cells do not adhere to the bubble surface. Results obtained from these experiments indicate that the additives which rapidly lower the liquid-vapor interfacial tension of the culture medium also prevent adhesion of cells to the bubble surface. Experiments have also been conducted to determine the number of cells killed due to bubble rupture, and it was observed that this number is related to the amount of cells adhering to the bubble surface.