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Cell culture media and sera

Cell culture techniques grow cells for research or manufacturing. Basal culture media typically contain a carbon source, buffers, inorganic salts, and other components, and animal serum is often added as a supplement to enhance cell growth. Eukaryotic cells such as mammalian cell lines can grow to high density with the addition of growth factors, proteins, vitamins, and other components from the serum.

Commonly used serum products

We offer a broad variety of natural and engineered cell culture serum products to meet your specifications. Natural sera include fetal bovine serum (FBS), which is used most often, and bovine calf serum (BCS). When selecting sera, consider the country of origin, collection procedures, processing methods, and testing — such as sterility, endotoxin levels, and assays to detect specific viruses.


Below are some answers to frequently asked questions regarding BCS.

What is bovine calf serum?

BCS is the liquid fraction of coagulated calf blood. Collected at the slaughterhouse, this blood comes from a healthy bovine calf that is days to months old. New Zealand and the United States are common origins.

What is its composition?

BCS contains high levels of growth-promoting factors that support the proliferation of a broad spectrum of cell types. BCS products typically undergo sterile filtration through sequential filters.

What are the types of BCS products?

Bovine calf serum comes in various forms to suit your specific requirements. Our range of BCS products includes:

Calf serum, U.S. origin – This BCS is collected from animals 16–24 weeks old. It’s sourced in the USA with complete traceability back to the origin. This serum is very low in antibodies and high in growth factors.

Iron-supplemented BCS – This BCS is also collected from animals 16–24 weeks old. But it’s supplemented with iron and growth-promoting factors. The origin is the United States.

New Zealand Newborn BCS – Collected from calves less than 10 days old.

What are the applications of BCS?

The most common use of BCS is as a supplement to basal media formulations in cell culture. BCS helps maintain peak in vitro growth of mammalian cells and is a cost-effective replacement for FBS. You can use BCS with robust cell lines in research labs and in the manufacturing of vaccines and biological drugs.

How does BCS differ from FBS?

A key difference between BCS and FBS is the age of the animal at collection. Blood for FBS comes from bovine fetuses collected from pregnant cows at the slaughterhouse. However, blood for BCS comes from calves younger than 12 months old; some products come from calves just days or weeks old. BCS contains considerably more protein than FBS, while the latter has higher growth factor levels.