Of all the different types of animal serum available, Foetal (Fetal) Bovine Serum (FBS) is the most widely used basal media supplement for in vitro cell culture. FBS is particularly suitable since it contains a very low level of antibodies. Those low levels of antibodies combine with a higher concentration of growth factors than compared with adult or newborn bovine sera. This means that FBS is effective in promoting and sustaining the growth of both mammalian and insect cells.

Life Science Production can offer high-quality FBS from a variety of geographies to suit both budgetary and research requirements – including South America, the USA, New Zealand, Australia, the EU and USDA-tested (Central America) origins. 

FBS is also available heat-inactivated, gamma-irradiated, dialysed and charcoal-stripped.

Heat Inactivation:

The aseptically filtered serum is heated to 56°C for 30 minutes with continuous agitation. This process inactivates various components of the serum, including complement factors which can
interfere with certain immunoassays. However, this routine treatment of serum is not desirable for all applications so we recommend testing the benefit of heat inactivation prior to having a batch treated in this way. Heat inactivation can increase the presence of precipitates and may also impede the growth-enhancing properties of the FBS.

Gamma Irradiation:

GI can be used as part of the sterilisation process. After the serum has been aseptically filtered, it is bottled and then exposed to 2.5-3.5 mRads (25-35 kGy) to guarantee freedom from microorganisms. Some bovine viral species are resistant to gamma-irradiation, such as parvovirus. As the
gamma irradiation is carried out in the final packaging vessels, it will cause both glass and PETG bottles to darken in colour. It can also impair the efficiency of the serum and reduce shelf life.

To read more about GI, here are links to our papers:

life science production, foetal bovine serum

In order to remove small molecules such as glucose, salts, hormones, cytokines, amino acids and also antibiotics, the chilled serum is dialysed from 10kDa up to 30,000kDa. This processing method is useful for receptor studies and radiolabelling assays. However, dialysis does not remove serum-bound hormones and it can reduce the growth promotion capabilities of the serum.

Tetracycline negative:

The sterile filtered serum is tested by an external laboratory for the presence of tetracyclines. This serum is suitable for use in all assays where the presence of tetracyclines is of concern.

Charcoal: Dextran Stripping:

The serum is processed through an activated charcoal filter to remove lipophilic material including oestradiol, progesterone, cortisol, testosterone, T3, T4 and insulin. The level of stripping can be either medium or heavy. The processing method is ideal for applications requiring low levels of hormones such as steroid and steroid receptor research, immunoassay systems and insulin assay methods. However, impaired growth promotion can be found in cells requiring the presence of certain hormones.

To view the product information sheet, click here

Finally, to find out more and discuss your specific needs please contact or call +44 (0) 1234 889180

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