Application Note

Performance Challenging Fetal Bovine Serum (FBS) And FBS Alternatives

Source: Avantor

By William Siegel

Cells

Growth performance testing in cell culture is an effective approach to making serum suitability and purchase decisions. An independent commercial testing lab conducted two separate and sequential growth promotion studies to underscore the need for pre-purchase lot performance testing with: (1) FBS, and (2) FBS alternatives.

Results from both studies are presented here to compare and contrast

  • FBS lots to eachother
  • FBS alternatives lots to eachother
  • FBS alternatives lots to FBS

FBS alternatives are included because they are often overlooked as a cost-effective substitute for FBS, providing, in many cases, equivalent performance.

It is advisable to avoid preconceived notions concerning the quality or performance of a serum product without considering the culture system, culture considerations, and the subject cells, which can all have a material impact on its performance in cell culture. Test - then decide.

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