How is FBS used?
There is a wide range of applications for fetal bovine serum, the most significant being biopharmaceuticals and vaccines. FBS is used in the research, manufacturing, and control of human and veterinary vaccines and drugs, many of which are at the cutting edge of drug development. FBS is also used extensively in other areas of research. A technique known as "Cell culture" is widely applied in the manufacturing of both vaccines and biopharmaceuticals, in which bovine serum is broadly used.
Why do cell cultures need serum?
Maintaining cells in vitro over time in a healthy condition is a complex task. They will only survive, grow, and multiply if they are well fed and provided with an appropriate and protective environment. Complex mixtures of substances (also referred to as "media") are used to bathe the cells in order to both feed and protect them. Different cells have different requirements. In many instances, the presence of serum in the mixture is essential if the cells are to grow adequately and normally. Bovine serum is the most widely used, because high-quality bovine serum is available in sufficient volume and has been found to support cell growth very well indeed.