Foetal Bovine Serum

Foetal Bovine Serum, FBS (also referred to as Foetal Calf Serum, FCS) is the most widely used serum-supplement for in vitro cell culture. FBS naturally contains very low level of antibodies combined with a higher concentration of growth factors (compared with other serum products). The addition of FBS to culture media serves three key functions in cellular growth by providing hormonal factors, attachments and spreading factors as well as transport proteins. No other known substance contains the same broad spectrum of cell growth promoting properties. 

Note: Serum is the liquid fraction of clotted blood. It is depleted of cells, fibrin and clotting factors. Serum differs from plasma in that anticoagulant is never added to the blood after collection from the animal. Serum is prepared by centrifuging until the clot is separated from the liquid phase.

Availability                              

Global and local geographic and economic conditions, climatic environment and government legislation all contribute to the availability of FBS.  Further, the selling price of FBS is very dynamic being dictated by its country of origin which is influenced by supply and demand. Concerns about BSE and other adventitious agents potentially found in animal-origin materials, strongly influences the demand for specific origins with New Zealand, Australian and US origin material commanding the highest prices. Currently, prices for FBS are at an all time high.

Choose from various origins depending on budget and research needs. South American origin serum provides the most cost-effective option. Australian and New Zealand FBS assure product of the highest integrity due to the disease-free status of these island countries.

Batch testing

Up to three, 50ml samples can be sent, free-of-charge for customers to test for cell line suitability. The total number of bottles (typically to a maximum of 975L filtered serum) can be reserved for up to four weeks. The actual number of bottle available however, will depend on the batch.

  Applications Country of Origin Endotoxin EU/ml
Standard Grade Suitable for general applications, especially those that do not require defined biochemical  and hormonal profiles or bacteriophage testing South America <10.0
USA <10.0
USDA Grade <10.0
<50.0

Australia /

New Zealand

<10.0
New Zealand <10.0
Heat Inactivated Sterile filtered serum is heated to 56°C for 30 minutes with continuous mixing, to inactivate various components of the serum including complement factors. Often required to preserve the integrity of immunoassays. South America <10.0
USA <10.0
USDA Grade <10.0
<50.0
Gamma Irradiated

Serum is gamma irradiated in the final containers to guarantee freedom from all micro-organisms.

NB. Irradiation will cause both glass and PETG bottles to darken in colour. The efficiency of the serum may be impaired and the shelf life reduced.

US Origin/

USDA Grade

<10.0
Dialysed

Chilled serum is dialysed from 10kDa up to 30,000kDa, to remove small molecules such as glucose, salts and some non-protein bound serum molecules such as polypeptides. Particularly suitable for receptor studies (and radiolabelling assays).

NB. This process generally does not remove hormones that are serum bound but it may reduce growth promotion capabilities of some lots.

USDA Grade <10.0
<10.0
Charcoal:Dextran Stripped Serum

Serum is processed through an activated charcoal filter to remove lipophilic material such as oestradiol, progesterone, cortisol, testosterone, T3, T4 and insulin. Ideal for applications requiring low levels of hormones such as steroid and steroid receptor research, immunoassay systems and insulin assay methods.

NB. This serum may show some reduced growth-promotion ability for cells requiring the presence of certain hormones.

US Origin/

USDA Grade

<10.0
<10.0
Tetracycline Negative Designed for studying tet-inducible gene expression systems. Batches of serum are pre-tested to be free of tetracycline or tetracycline derivatives.  South America <10.0
<10.0
Low IgG These are batches selected with naturally occurring low levels of IgG. Seralab does not process serum to artificially reduce IgG levels as this can affect culture performance. South America <10.0
USDA Grade <10.0
Embryonic Stem Cell pre-tested Batches of serum are pre-tested for ability to sustain undifferentiated cellular morphology in Murine ES Cell V 6.5. Crucial for the successful maintenance of embryonic stem cells. South America <10.0
USDA Grade <10.0
USA <10.0
Insect Qualified Batches of serum are pre-tested and qualified for insect cell culture applications in both Grace’s and TNM-FH insect media on a broad range of insect cells, including Sf9, Tni and D2 cells. USA <10.0
<10.0
Delipidated For growing hepatocytes and other cells used in numerous biological assays including research involving fatty acids, cholesterol, steroids, growth hormone and drug delivery. USA <10.0
SeraLab Select Batches of serum that have been shown to have extremely low levels of endotoxin and are of particular interest in the culturing of primary or hybridoma cells. South America <10.0
Enhanced Batches of serum pre-tested on a variety of human and animal primary cells including neuronal cells, fibroblasts, epithelial cells, hybridoma, myeloma, HeLa and CHO. South America  

South American Origin - This material is sourced from a specific country in the sub-continent of South America, for example Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay, Venezuela, Columbia, Bolivia and Chile.

USDA  Grade (“Approved”) - material sourced in countries approved for import into the United States by the USDA. Currently this includes Central America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand and Chile. This material is collected and processed in facilities registered and inspected by the competent veterinary authority in the country of origin. In many instances the material cannot be distributed within the USA without successfully passing safety testing in USDA laboratories. 

Every batch is triple filtered to 0.1µm. Quality Assurance testing precedes the release of a batch for sale. Full batch documentation can be provided including Certificates of Origin, Certificates of Analysis showing country of origin, and batch filtration records.

Major companies that collect and sell FBS globally are members of the ISIA, the International Serum Industry Association. Seralab is a major contributor to the Association.

Serum is collected aseptically by specially trained operators to ensure freedom from bacterial contamination resulting in low levels of endotoxin – typically <10EU/ml. Product codes GEM-100-500, GEM-100-106 and EU-000-FS/HS are pre-selected to have very low levels of endotoxin, typically below the standard level of 1ng/ml or 10 EU/ml. Actual values are provided in the Certificate of Analysis for each batch.