Which FBS is Best for Your Cells?

Tuesday, January 05, 2021 - 08:47
R&D Systems Fetal Bovine Serum and Media

We recognize the vital impact of quality fetal bovine serum for today’s evolving cell culture needs. With over 40 years of rigorous research, development, and manufacturing at our ISO 9001:2105 certified facility, R&D Systems has produced an industry-leading portfolio of fetal bovine serum (FBS). Following R&D Systems reputation for product quality, our FBS portfolio emphasizes excellence in cell culture performance, serum traceability, lot-to-lot consistency, and product availability.

With dedicated raw serum suppliers of United States origin and USDA-approved, Central American FBS, R&D Systems has direct access to a secure supply of FBS to accommodate academic and industry research and manufacturing. Our FBS portfolio includes serum that supports basic cell culture and specialized cell culture, including stem cells and organoid applications.

This blog outlines the various grades of FBS available, their benefits, and specifications.


Request a Free Sample of FBS



Standard Grades of Fetal Bovine Serum (FBS)

Standard Grades of Fetal Bovine Serum (FBS)

Premium Grade FBS

This high quality FBS is widely used among cell culture researchers. With an extensive biochemical profile and comprehensive quality assurance testing, Fetal Bovine Serum - Premium demonstrates superior performance with a broad spectrum of cell types. Lots are manufactured from USDA-approved origin material following stringent manufacturing and quality control procedures. This serum option is a more affordable alternative other commercially available FBS. Learn more about Fetal Bovine Serum – Premium.

Optima Grade FBS

Optima meets the nutritional requirements of most cell lines and is suitable for general cell culture applications. An extensive biochemical profile and an extended virus testing panel are provided in addition to comprehensive quality assurance testing. Each lot is manufactured exclusively from US origin material following stringent manufacturing and quality control procedures. Learn more about Fetal Bovine Serum – Optima.

Premium Select Grade FBS

Premium Select is the highest-grade FBS available from R&D Systems. It is manufactured for use when culturing demanding or sensitive cell lines. In addition to comprehensive quality assurance testing, this FBS undergoes extensive hormone, profiling, biochemical analysis, and rigorous virus testing. Lots are manufactured from US- or USDA-approved origin material following stringent manufacturing and quality control procedures. Learn more about Fetal Bovine Serum - Premium Select.

View Table of FBS Grades Quality Testing

Specialty Fetal Bovine Serum

Embryonic Stem Cell Qualified FBS

With R&D Systems Embryonic Stem Cell Qualified Fetal Bovine Serum, time consuming pre-screening of multiple serum lots is no longer required. Highest quality FBS lots are tested to ensure particular suitability when culturing embryonic stem cells. The screening includes plating efficiency, colony morphology assays, and cytotoxicity assays. Selected lots must offer outstanding performance with embryonic stem cells while maintaining the cells in their undifferentiated state. Learn more about Embryonic Stem Cell Qualified Fetal Bovine Serum.

Hybridoma Qualified FBS

This FBS grade is ideally suited for culturing hybridoma and myeloma cells. Hybridoma Qualified Fetal Bovine Serum lots have been screened to show superior growth at limiting dilutions and a lack of cytotoxicity during the growth studies. Learn more about Hybridoma Qualified Fetal Bovine Serum.

TET Tested FBS

TET Tested Fetal Bovine Serum is specifically designed for use in TET systems and cell lines. In TET systems, a tetracycline-controlled transactivator interacts with a responsive promoter to regulate the expression of a gene of interest. The presence of tetracycline or its derivatives in serum may interfere with tetracycline-regulated gene expression systems. TET Tested Fetal Bovine Serum exhibits undetectable levels of tetracycline and tetracycline-derivatives, which are strictly measured throughout serum production. Learn more about TET Tested Fetal Bovine Serum.

Charcoal/Dextran FBS

Charcoal/Dextran Fetal Bovine Serum is used in applications requiring lower levels of hormones, steroids or growth factors in serum, such as insulin- and estrogen-related research. Each lot of pre-selected high quality FBS is tested for various hormones and steroids before and after treatment to confirm the efficacy of the process. Learn more about Charcoal/Dextran Fetal Bovine Serum.

Dialyzed FBS

Dialyzed FBS is ideal for cell culture systems that require reduced concentrations of low molecular weight components, such as nucleotides, amino acids, hormones, salts and various small proteins. This serum is dialyzed against physiological saline using a 12 – 14 kiloDalton (kDa) cutoff membrane using a controlled process where glucose concentration is precisely monitored throughout the procedure. Exhaustive dialysis is not performed in order to prevent precipitation and inactivation of serum peptides. Learn more about Dialyzed Fetal Bovine Serum.

Need to test before purchasing your serum?


Try Before You Buy FBS Sample


Try Before You Buy N21/N-2 Supplements


Need something other than FBS? Take a look at our custom cell culture media manufacturing services, or custom services for cell and gene therapy, and our genome engineering services.

Blog Categories: