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FBS - Should it contain "debris"? - (Apr/19/2012 )

Hello everybody.

This is the first time I've posted here so forgive me if this is an old question/well trodden path.

My question is about FCS/FBS. Quite simply, I am wondering whether or not it should contain "floaters"/"debris"?

I currently have these "floaters" in my media and have witnessed this previously before. I have no change of pH or swelling of the media bottle.

Thanks for any help,



well, you can't expect FBS to be crystal clear since it is serum. I have received FBS which had debris, but they didn't affect the growth of my cells. However, I'm not sure what debris you are seeing in there. Have you checked the expiry date? which company is it from?


Thanks Metaller Scientist.

I just recently moved to this new lab, and since I am the only cell culture-ist I want to make sure everything is spot on! This has been a question in my mind for a while now and whilst I always thought these "bits" were standard for serum, I just wanted to try and clear any doubts from my conscience.

For the record, our FBS is from Fisher/Lonza and was ordered only last week.

Thanks again,




Yes, sera contain debris, I don't know why really. The not yet heat inactivated sera contain more debris though.
I use horse serum for my CHRF cells, they like it more than FBS, but it contains a lot of debris. I filter my serum before adding it to the media or freezing it, this removes most debris. Filtering may affect the proteins in the serum, but it works fine with my cells. It also removes any contamination if it was there.




I have seen many people filter their FBS, but we don't.


Thanks Salvador (and Curtis (not Metaller Scientist as I previously stated!)).

It was just one of those niggling little doubts in my mind that I needed to clear up. I was 99% confident that my media wasn't contaminated as it remained "clear" and my cells remained "helathy", but your answers have put my mind to rest a little.