fetal calf serum

Warren Gallin wgallin at gpu.srv.ualberta.ca
Thu Mar 9 11:56:25 EST 2000

rubendaniel at my-deja.com wrote:

> Hi everybody,
> This is really a curiosity more than technical problem. What's the
> reason for using fetal calf serum to make cell cultures??. Why not, for
> example, newborn calf is usually cheaper?. All the companies I called
> said that such serum came from animals less than 10-12 days old, so if
> the animal is healthy what's the reason for not using that thing?

    My understanding is that historically people chose fetal because it is
supposed to have little or no antibody; thus the chance of an
antibody-mediated effect on the cultured cells was minimized.  It could
also be that there are growth factors in fetal blood that are absent post
    Because many/most cell cultures have been set up with FCS, changing it
to newborn introduces an undefined change in growth conditions, so most
people would rather avoid the extra work of validating the cell line
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