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Why foetal calf serum? - (Mar/30/2010 )

Why do most ppl use FCS over the other types of serums? Why is FCS that important?


Well, there really isn't such a thing a fetal calf serum. Fetal bovine serum is produced by a pregnant cow who are brought to slaughter, so after slaughtering of the cow, the fetus (that is more than 3 months old) is removed and needle is injected into its heart and blood is collected aseptically. The serum is then collected following centrifuge process.

A calf is used to describe a cow that has been born. Therefore, the animal in question can't be both a calf and unborn- it must be one or the other. You wouldn't use the term fetal puppy, when you really mean fetal canine.

That being said, there are some cell lines that require the use of fetal bovine and others that use calf serum. That is a true distinction between serum types.



KB13 on Mar 30 2010, 11:24 AM said:

Why do most ppl use FCS over the other types of serums? Why is FCS that important?

Labrat is correct that your terminology is a bit off and there is FBS or CS but no such thing as FCS. Anyway, there is a large difference in the amount and type of growth hormones that are in these serums and some cell lines require or have a preference for one over the other. I've seen major variation in growth characteristics even from one lot of FBS to another. This is why, if you request, a company will send you a few samples of different lots to test your cell lines in. Then, when you find a lot that suits your cells needs, you can either purchase a large amount or even put a huge amount on hold with the company. This can be critical if you are doing cell cycle analysis in a difficult cell line!!