Charcoal stripped FBS vs Heat inactivated FBS

Martin Offterdinger martin.offterdinger at
Tue Nov 28 07:20:15 EST 2000

"Y.F.LEUNG" <yfleung at> schrieb im Newsbeitrag
news:3A235FB2.3C620E15 at
> Dear all,
> I am doing a cell assay to see the effect of a hormone. The original
> protocol used charcoal stripped FBS for the medium but this kind of
> serum is not conveniently available here. Someone suggested heat
> inactivated FBS would be an alternative. Are they similar? Is there any
> critical difference if I use heat inactivated FBS instead?

Yes, there is a difference indeed, the two methods have nothing at all in

-Heat treatment inactivates complement and should always be done with FCS!

-Charcoal treatment removes hydrophobic, low MW compounds (i.e. steroid
hormones, etc...)

It is troublesome to prepare charcoal stripped serum (takes about 1 week of
stírring with charcoal and even more troublesome removing charcoal
afterwards by filtration!!)
I always used the stripped serum available from Hyclone (no affiliation),
which is expensive but nevertheless worth it!

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