July 25, 2024
Adult Bovine Serum

Adult Bovine Serum: An Essential Ingredient For Cell Culture Research

Adult bovine serum, commonly referred to as ABS or FBS (fetal bovine serum), is a blood component extracted from adult cattle. It serves as a standardized protein mixture that is widely used to supplement cell growth in cell culture. ABS contains growth factors, cytokines, proteins, lipids, vitamins and other trace elements required to maintain optimal cell growth conditions in vitro. Although ABS can support the growth of a variety of different cell types, its composition is highly standardized and controlled, making it a reliable and reproducible supplement for cell culture practices.

Composition of ABS

Some of the key components present in ABS that support cell growth include:

– Albumin: As the most abundant plasma protein, albumin plays crucial roles in maintaining osmotic balance and transporting nutrients. Albumin promotes cell proliferation and attachment.

– Growth factors: Adult bovine serum contains several important growth factors like insulin-like growth factor 1, transforming growth factor beta 1 and 2, fibroblast growth factors and more. These drive key signaling pathways involved in cell survival, growth and differentiation.

– Amino acids: ABS provides all essential and non-essential amino acids required for protein synthesis during cell division and growth. Some amino acids like glutamine and cysteine also function as signaling molecules.

– Lipids: Lipids account for 1-2% of the total ABS composition and include essential fatty acids, cholesterol, triglycerides and phospholipids. These support membrane integrity and provide energy.

– Trace elements: Minerals such as zinc, copper, iron and selenium present in minute quantities are nonetheless vital for enzymatic activity and cellular metabolism.

– Antioxidants: Natural antioxidants like transferrin, ceruloplasmin and albumin in ABS protect cells from oxidative damage during in vitro culturing.

Selection and Screening of Adult Bovine Serum

To ensure batch-to-batch consistency, ABS suppliers subject donor cattle to stringent health screening and selection processes. Only adult cattle 6-18 months old from FDA-approved herds in controlled environments are utilized. Their health, diet and environments are closely monitored. Blood is collected under aseptic conditions from the jugular vein or other large blood vessels.

The extracted blood undergoes centrifugation and filtering to separate serum from other components like cells, platelets and clotting factors. ABS is then tested for culturing performance, mycoplasma, bacteria, fungi and viruses. Only serum batches that clear all tests are made available for research purposes. Proper screening eliminates risks of transmission from bovine diseases.

Applications of Adult Bovine Serum in Cell Culture

Given its standardized and well-defined composition, ABS finds widespread application as a cell culture supplement for both adherent and suspension cell lines:

– Stem cell culture: ABS supports the growth and maintenance of undifferentiated pluripotent human stem cells in vitro. It promotes stem cell viability, proliferation and self-renewal.

– Primary cell culture: ABS allows isolation and propagation of primary cells directly obtained from patient tissues and organs, without requiring cell line immortalization.

– Cell line maintenance: Hundreds of stable immortalized cell lines are routinely cultured and passaged in media supplemented with ABS to meet research demands.

– 3D spheroid culture: ABS improves formation of multicellular tumor spheroids for cancer drug testing and toxicology studies replicating in vivo tumor microenvironments.

– Transfection assays: As a defined medium, ABS enhances transfection and protein expression levels following introduction of genes, siRNAs or plasmids into cultured cells.

– Karyotyping: ABS helps maintain consistent cell growth for accurate karyotyping and genetics studies visualizing cell chromosome spreads.

– Virus production: Some animal viruses can only replicate efficiently in cells cultured using ABS due to species-specific growth factors. This enables mass production of viruses.

Adult bovine serum is indispensable for reproducible research assays, drug discovery efforts and production of biologicals due to its standardized composition supporting growth of a wide variety of normal and cancerous cell types. With continued herd health monitoring and quality control measures, it serves as a safe and cost-effective cell culture supplement.

1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public Source, Desk Research
2. We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile it.