Fetal bovine serum is a widely used cell culture media supplement for the successful in vitro culture of many cell types. FBS is a rich source of nutrients, hormones, lipids, adhesion factors in addition to acting as carriers for growth factors and supplying buffering capacity to the culture media. FBS is commercially available from many manufacturers, and because the composition of FBS is variable in its ability to support cell proliferation, customers may need to test specific batches for suitability for their specific cell type. FBS is stored at -20°C to preserve the stability of the components in serum, such as growth factors, thus the inventory management and storage of FBS can sometimes be a daunting and time-consuming task particularly where many cell types are being cultured.
Typical FBS Workflow
FBS is typically purchased in large bottles (i.e. 500mL or 1L), which is thawed and aliquoted into smaller working volumes to minimize freeze/thaw cycles. These aliquots are usually stored at -20°C until they are ready for use. This step not only requires technician time, but also accurate transcription of the lot number, expiration date and any other identifying information for that specific lot of FBS. As mentioned above, FBS lot to lot variability can adversely affect the success of your cell culture particularly for sensitive cell types, therefore it is important to maintain accurate laboratory records to ensure the correct FBS lot is paired with the intended cell type. This workflow is common practice but can cause problems for a busy laboratory with many users, such as sterility, consistency, labeling errors, and problems with multiple freeze/thaw cycles.
Gibco™ One Shot FBS 50mL Bottles
The Gibco™ One Shot FBS 50 mL bottles aims to solve these workflow problems through a unique bottle design. The bottles are engineered to tolerate the freeze/thaw process, which mitigates the potential of bottles cracking or lids popping off, which can happen with conical tubes especially when they are overfilled. They are also clearly labeled for easy identification and eliminate the need to aliquot resulting in:
- Reduced risk of contamination
- Improved consistency
- Reduced time for aliquoting
- Minimal freeze/thaw cycles
- Reduce errors in labeling tubes
- Free up technician time
The 50mL bottles fit into most standard test tube racks for ease of storage. Alternatively, the One Shot 10 x 50 mL carton allows you to store up to 35 L more FBS in an average 20 ft. freezer, freeing up valuable freezer space for other reagents.
The One Shot FBS 50 mL bottles have been shown to reduce plastics waste by 33% compared to aliquoting from 500 mL bottles. For example, a typical laboratory using 20 L of FBS per year would recoup almost 7 hours of technician time and generate 7 pounds less plastic waste by switching to One Shot FBS. This is a significant benefit both to lab productivity and the environment allowing you to spend more time on making new discoveries.
Choose the Best Fit
There are several types of One Shot FBS available depending on your research needs. There is FBS available from different countries of origin to satisfy regulatory compliance as well as specialty sera for specific applications (i.e. low IgG, exosome-depleted, etc).
Gibco™ has recently launched their heat-inactivated One Shot FBS, heated at 56°C for 30 mins to inactivate complement, which is especially suited for immunological work.
You can learn more about One Shot FBS at: https://www.thermofisher.com/us/en/home/life-science/cell-culture/mammalian-cell-culture/fbs/one-shot-fbs.html#one and by watching the video below: