Human Serum

Human serum is added to cell culture media as a supplement.

Serum is the fluid that remains once clotting factors are removed from blood plasma. Serum is a common supplement in cell culture media and provides a mix of hormones, growth and attachment factors, buffering agents, and other nutritional components. Some studies have determined that human serum is better suited than FBS for certain human cell culture applications, such as cell invasion studies and the formation of spheroids. Our human serum for cell culture is tested for the presence of viruses, bacteria, hemoglobin, and toxins, and then serially filtered under sterile conditions.

Human AB Serum

Human AB serum is used for culturing human cell lines, including human stem cell lines. Human AB serum is prepared from whole blood that is allowed to clot naturally. Human serum from clotted whole blood is used most frequently, as it contains more growth factors. AB human serum may also be plasma-derived, and is prepared from whole blood that is not allowed to coagulate. Once the plasma is separated, it is then treated with calcium to activate the clotting cascade, and centrifuged to extract serum. This preparation is used when testing for growth factors. Heat inactivated human AB serum is available in both formats.

Heat-Inactivated Human Serum

Adult serum contains serum complement, which can be harmful to some cells, or have deleterious effects in downstream immunoassays. Heat inactivation of serum is performed to inactivate complement and is mainly used for culturing hematopoietic cells, or when performing immunological assays such as mixed-lymphocyte reactions or neutralization assays. We offer heat inactivated human AB serum from plasma and clotted whole blood.

Complement-Depleted Human Serum

Human serum lacking a specific complement protein is also available. Complement-depleted human serum is prepared by immunoadsorption. For complement assays, we offer C4-complement-deficient serum from guinea pig, and human serum deficient in the following complement proteins:

  • C2-deficient
  • C3-deficient
  • C5-deficient
  • C6-deficient
  • C7-deficient
  • C8-deficient

Our complete offering also includes specific complement proteins isolated from sera.

Applications for Human Serum

Human serum from blood type AB donors lacks antibodies specific for both A and B blood-type antigens, making it suitable for transplantation and cell therapy. Other biotechnical and biopharmaceutical applications include tissue engineering and the expansion of mesenchymal stem cells from adipose tissue, or of mesenchymal stromal cells from human bone marrow. In addition, AB serum is essential for expanding peripheral blood-derived NK cells, and for enhancing pre-transplant human islet culture.


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