June 18, 2024
Adult Bovine Serum

Understanding the Role of Adult Bovine Serum in Cell Culture

What is Adult Bovine Serum?

Adult bovine serum (ABS) refers to blood serum extracted from adult cattle. It is commonly used as a cell culture supplement to support cell growth and proliferation. As mammals, cattle provide a serum that contains components similar to those found in human blood.

Composition of Adult Bovine Serum

Adult bovine serum contains various proteins, growth factors, hormones, vitamins, minerals, and other components needed for cell survival and growth. Some key components include:

– Albumin: The most abundant protein in serum, albumin helps regulate fluid balance and provides nutrients to cells.

– Globulins: This class of proteins includes immunoglobulins which help fight infection, as well as transport proteins like transferrin which carry iron.

– Growth factors: ABS contains epidermal growth factor (EGF), fibroblast growth factor (FGF), platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF), transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β) and other growth factors that signal cells to proliferate, migrate and differentiate.

– Angiogenic factors: Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and other factors in ABS promote the formation of new blood vessels (angiogenesis), which is important for cell cultures.

– Prevent clotting: Serum contains anticoagulant proteins like albumin that prevent clotting and allow cells to receive nutrients and signals freely from the media.

– Lipoproteins: Components like fatty acids are transported in the blood bound to lipoproteins and available to cells.

– Trace elements: Minerals such as iron, zinc, copper and proteins that bind these trace elements support cellular metabolism.

– Protective proteins: Components like transferrin sequester iron to prevent toxicity, while albumin binds lipids and bilirubin to protect cells.

Processing Adult Bovine Serum

To produce ABS for cell culture, blood is collected from cattle at certified slaughterhouses where humane handling practices are followed. The blood undergoes processing which includes:

– Coagulation: Clot formation is allowed to separate serum from other blood components.

– Heat inactivation: Heating at 56°C for 30 minutes destroys potential pathogens while preserving serum components.

– Filtration: Multiple sterilizing filtrations remove any particles to ensure sterility.

– Testing/Certification: ABS lots undergo extensive testing for pathogens, mycoplasma and endotoxins to meet high quality standards.

– Aliquoting/Storage: Serum is aliquoted into smaller lots and frozen at -20°C for long-term storage until use.

Using Adult Bovine Serum in Cell Culture

ABS provides an excellent environment to support the growth of many mammalian cell lines. Some specific uses of ABS include:

– Maintenance media: ABS is a standard supplement added at 10-20% to most routine cell culture media formulations to promote cell proliferation.

– Deriving primary cultures: ABS aids the initial establishment and outgrowth of primary cells isolated directly from animal tissues.

– Specialized cell types: Serum is essential for culturing certain fastidious cell types like hybridomas, lymphoblastoid cell lines and stem cells.

– Three-dimensional cultures: The proteins and nutrients in ABS help cells survive and organize in 3D cultures like spheroids.

– Induction of differentiation: Removing serum triggers some cells like myoblasts to exit the cell cycle and terminally differentiate.

– Testing therapeutic proteins: ABS provides necessary binding proteins and components to evaluate how novel drugs, biologics and vaccines engage with the immune system.

– Scale-up in bioreactors: Large volumes of ABS supplement bioreactors used in commercial cell culture manufacturing processes.

Considerations when Using Adult Bovine Serum

While ABS is well-suited to promote cell growth, some important factors should be considered:

– Batch-to-batch variability: ABS composition varies slightly between suppliers and lots due to its biological nature. Strict qualification is needed.

– Potential for contamination: Despite rigorous processing, rare instances of viral/mycoplasma contamination are still possible. Confirmatory testing is prudent.

– Ethical concerns: Use of ABS relies on slaughterhouse byproducts. Alternative serum-free formulations minimize reliance on animal sources.

– Cost implications: ABS is significantly more expensive than other supplements like recombinant proteins or small molecule serum replacements.

adult bovine serum is a mainstream research laboratory reagent and industrial cell culture supplement. Its balanced composition of proteins, growth factors, nutrients, trace elements and binding proteins emulate conditions needed to culture mammalian cells. While ABS batch variability and bioethical issues point to alternatives, it remains a gold standard supplement in many research and commercial applications. Strict qualification ensures its safe use in cell culture systems.

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