Serum, Methods and Considerations for Use

Sponsored by: Life Technologies
Session ended: March, 28th, 2014, 3:00pm MST
Answers by: by David Judd, Product manager of global research sera products, Biosciences Division of Thermo Fisher Scientific (formerly Life Technologies)

Introduction

The use of serum for the culture of cells may be a century old, but still a mainstay in cell culture applications. It is the foundation for many research protocols. There are many aspects to be considered in the selection, handing and use of serum. Ensuring consistent performance in given application can be achieved through selecting an appropriate product and maintaining the product throughout its use.

These topics and more will be covered during our Ask the Expert session – Serum, methods and considerations for use. If you have questions about serum – how to use it in cell culture, how to decide which type is best for you, sourcing considerations, product quality questions or any other serum related matters, please submit your questions now.

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This session is sponsored by
Life Technologies


Questions & Answers

I am working with mesenchymal stem cells and I am wondering if it is necessary to heat inactivate my serum or if I should buy serum that has been heat inactivated or is that step necessary.

Heat inactivation of sera was originally implemented to inactivate complement which interfered in assays. The process has impacts on other molecules that may not have been quantified or evaluated. The literature varies as to the potential positive and negative effects of heat inactivation. For most cell lines in routine culture, it is likely not needed. […]» Read More

When would you use calf serum or newborn calf serum vs. FBS?

Newborn calf serum (or calf serum) can be utilized in cell culture for a few different reasons. If a process is very price sensitive, it makes sense to design using a less expensive product. The newborn calf serum is generally more stable in price and availability compared to FBS if reliability is a key concern. […]» Read More

What are the most critical components in FBS that help in cell culture?

There are many functions that FBS supplies. Which ones are most important likely relies on the application. It provides attachment factors, growth factors, simple nutrients like amino acids and vitamins, stability factors for nutrients through binding, etc.The list is a very long one. These are the reasons it is difficult stop using it. I makes […]» Read More

I heard previously there have been so-called FDA-certified serum lots that are good for GMP clinical applications. Is this info correct? If so, where can I find related ordering info? In addition, what are the differences, in terms of serum quality and/or analytical testing, between FDA-certified vs. “regular” serum we buy for routine lab use? Is there an increased risk of adventitous contaminants with regular off-the-shelf serum if not FDA-certified?

To my knowledge, there is no animal serum product approved by an entity such as the FDA.Sera products from the larger suppliers are generally manufactured in facilities compliant with GMPs and ISO standards. Manufacturers may also conform to other international quality standards. Each manufacturer generally with have product lines offering a variety of testing levels. […]» Read More

I am trying to transfect (lipofectin mediated) a ChoK1 cell line. The current protocol I am using a protocol uses RPMI and FCS. I just read on your site that animal components yeild unpredictable results. I was wondering if this applies to the serum used as well? I am trying to optimize antibody production from the cell line.

Most transection reagents recommend transfecting in serum reduced or serum free medium. There are some that are advertised to be equally as effective in the presence or absence of serum. I would be inclined to transfect serum-free to be on the safe side. Unfortunately the only way to prove anything is through testing. If this […]» Read More

I am working with mesenchymal stem cells and I am wondering if it is necessary to heat inactivate my serum or if I should buy serum that has been heat inactivated or is that step necessary.

Heat inactivation of sera was originally implemented to inactivate complement which interfered in assays. The process has impacts on other molecules that may not have been quantified or evaluated. The literature varies as to the potential positive and negative effects of heat inactivation. For most cell lines in routine culture, it is likely not needed. […]» Read More