Why do cell cultures need serum?
Maintaining cells in vitro in a healthy condition and over time is a complex task. They will only survive, grow and multiply if they are well fed and provided with an appropriate and protective environment. Complex mixtures of substances ("media") are used to bathe the cells in order to both feed and protect them. Different cells have different requirements. In many instances the presence of serum in the mixture is essential if the cells are to grow adequately and normally. Bovine serum is much the most widely used, because high quality bovine serum is available in sufficient volume and has been found to support cell growth very well indeed.
How is FBS collected?
FBS is collected from the fetuses of pregnant cows, slaughtered in compliance with the OIE (World Animal Health Organization) guidelines and internationally accepted standards of veterinary inspection.
How should I select my FBS supplier?
The choice of the FBS supplier is based on Quality, Traceability and Safety along the whole supply chain, endorsed by comprehensive documentation; backed up by audits of the supply chain back to the serum source; and covering several years.
What are the precipitates in the serum?
Turbidity and flocculent material may be present after thawing or after prolonged freezing and/or refrigeration. Our experience indicates these modifications do not affect the biological performance of the serum.
- Some of the precipitates are due to fibrin:
Our collection procedures and rapid freezing may leave some fibrinogen in the serum. Fibrinogen is the soluble precursor of the clot-forming protein, fibrin. The fibrin may appear after thawing or heat inactivation. Fibrin does not alter the capacity of the serum to promote cell growth. It is recommended to use the serum without treatment (filtration or centrifugation).
- Some of the precipitates are due to Calcium Phosphate:
Serum that is incubated at 37°C for extended periods will become cloudy and deposits may appear. They are composed of calcium and phosphorous. To the best of our knowledge, this does not alter the performance of the serum in cell cultures.