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FBS, Fetal Bovine Serum (FBS).

F etal Bovine Serum (FBS) is a growth-promoting
supplement used in tissue culture for virtually all types
of cells and is also known as foetal bovine serum, and
Box 1 | Basic Info

fetal/foetal calf serum (FCS). FBS is a complex mixture of Cat No. Qty
nutritional, growth, hormonal, and attachment (anti-trypsin
ABP-MED-FBS0050 50 mL
activity) factors that are essential for cell propagation.
These include a wide variety of proteins, lipids, salts, ABP-MED-FBS0500 500 mL
minerals, and amino acids. Major proteins include albumin,
fetuin, fibronectin, globulins, and transferrin. Furthermore, Storage: Upon receipt, store frozen FBS at -20°C (or
FBS also appears to serve as a protective buffer against below) protected from light; Do not allow it to thaw until
detrimental changes, such as pH differences, heavy ready for use. FBS should last more than five years
metals, proteolytic activity, and endotoxin. Other types of under these conditions. Please aviod more than one
sera include calf serum (CS), and horse serum. Raw sera Freeze/Thaw cylce.
are collected by aseptic cardiac puncture at the abattoir by
a licensed veterinarian. It is quickly refrigerated, and after
allowing sufficient time (usually 24 hours) for clotting, the In general, normal processing using sterile filtration (0.1
raw sera are centrifuged to remove blood cells. It is then um) will not effectively remove viruses. Several companies
pre-filtered (submicron filtered), and finally sterile-filtered have developed smaller pore filters (40 nm) which they
through a series of 0.1 um filters (at least three times). claim will remove viruses or reduce viral loads. This is an
Processing is carefully performed at 4°C to minimize option if you have virus concerns. Note that some larger
product degradation, and the FBS is immediately frozen proteins (e.g., IgM) may also be removed by these smaller
after processing. pore filters.

W e test on five cell lines—more than our competitors.

BHK-21 and COS-7 are workhorse cell lines that are
widely used in tissue culture. The HeLa cell line is another
We recommend consulting websites such as ATCC
( and DSMZ ( for media
widely used cell line that is also excellent for identifying requirements and culturing conditions for specific cell lines.
high quality serum, which supports better cell attachment Tissue culture difficulties may be due to a wide variety of
and growth. The L-292 cell line is very sensitive to toxins. problems, such as poor aseptic technique, and sub-optimal
SF-9 is an insect cell line that requires high-quality FBS culturing conditions. Otherwise, due to batch-to-batch
to generate a high baculovirus titer. In summary, our variation, certain cell lines may require specific growth
performance testing is extremely comprehensive—only the and/or attachment factors that may not be present in any
highest quality FBS will pass particular lot of FBS.

Product Info Features

W hile we guarantee FBS from five years from the

date of processing, it is most likely viable for several
years past that, assuming that it has been stored properly
♦ USDA Approved
♦ Economical Alternative to US Sourced FBS
♦ Origin: Mexico
(at -20°C or below), and not subject to multiple thawing/ ♦ Complete traceability and extensive document trail
refreezing cycles. We recommend that you performance- ♦ Complete control of processing
test the FBS before usage to confirm viability. If you do not ♦ Mexico is considered free of BSE, FMD, & SVD by the
have a protocol for doing so, please contact us for one. In USDA
addition, while is not necessary for unopened and properly animal_disease_status.shtml
stored FBS, you may also consider sterile re-filtration (0.1 ♦ Performance tested on common cell lines:
um) before performance-testing, especially if storage and o BHK-21
handling conditions are uncertain. o COS-7
o HeLa
Heat inactivation is generally used to inactivate component o L-929
proteins in the FBS which may interfere with immunological o Sf-9
assays. Heat inactivation also inactivates certain viruses ♦ Mycoplasma and Endotoxin tested
and may reduce the mycoplasma titer. Insect cells usually ♦ Sterile: 0.1 um triple-filtered
require heat-inactivated FBS. Thawed FBS may be heat- ♦ Supplied in gamma-irradiated, sterile PETG bottles
inactivated by incubating it for 30 minutes in a 56°C water ♦ For in vitro research only
bath. The FBS should not be agitated during this time. Cool
before using on cells.

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We recommend rapid thawing: warm the frozen FBS at
room temperature for 10 minutes, and then place into a 37°C ♦ BHK 21 > 85% of FBS control lot
water-bath. Rapid thawing limits high salt concentrations,
which can potentially degrade serum proteins. Gently rotate. ♦ Sf-9 > 85% of FBS control lot
Do not shake as this can cause detrimental foaming. FBS ♦ HeLa > 85% of FBS control lot
should be removed from the water bath when fully thawed,
♦ L-929 > 85% of FBS control lot
and not be allowed to warm to ambient temperature. When
thawed, FBS is normally a clear amber solution; however, ♦ Cos7 > 85% of FBS control lot
there may be small amounts of crystalline precipitates
(salts, lipids, & proteins), which will not affect performance.
Filtration of these precipitates is usually not necessary or
recommended. Thawed FBS should be stored at 4°C and Website:
used with 2-3 weeks. Call: 1-800-991-RNAi/858-587-6645
♦ Usage (Pacific Time: 9:00AM~5:00PM)
FBS is typically used at 1-20% (vol) for media preparation in Email:
tissue culture, with 10% (vol) being the most common.
For Technical Support:
♦ Batch Variation
As FBS is a complex animal product, there can be significant
batch-to batch variation. While we performance-test each
batch on several common cell lines, we recommend that
end-users batch test sera on their particular cell line(s); we
provide free samples for testing and can reserve batch lots
if so requested.

Box 2 | Specifications

Test Method Specification

Cytotoxicity Cell Culture Non-toxic

Endotoxin LAL gel clot 0.125-5.000 EU/mL

Hemoglobin Spectrophotometer < 20 mg/dL

Identity Electrophoresis Normal

Mycoplasma PCR & cell culture Negative

PH pH meter 6.9-7.8

Sterility Modified 21CFR610.12 No growth

Total Protein BCA 32g/L

Bluetongue Sheep inoculation Negative

BVD Type I SVN Negative at 1:8

BVD Type II SVN Negative at 1:8

Bovine Herpes Virus 1 (IBR) SVN Negative at 1:4

F or Research Use Only. Not for Diagnostic or Therapeutic Use.

Purchase does not include or carry any right to resell or transfer this
product either as a stand-alone product or as a component of another product.
Any use of this product other than the permitted use without the express
written authorization of Allele Biotech is strictly prohibited

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