Performance Challenging Fetal Bovine Serum (FBS) and FBS Alternatives

by William Siegel
Volume 17, Open Access (May 2018)

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 each other
• FBS alternatives lots to each other
• 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 conditions, and the subject cells, which can all have a material impact on its performance in cell culture.
Test – then decide...

Siegel W. Performance challenging fetal bovine serum (FBS) and FBS alternatives. BioProcess J, 2018; 17.

Posted online May 21, 2018.