Fetal Calf Serum-free Database

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Fetal Calf Serum (FCS, also known as Fetal Bovine Serum, or FBS) is a widely used supplement for cell culture media. It is derived from the blood of fetal calves and contains a variety of growth factors, hormones, and other components that support cell survival, adherence and proliferation. Despite its longstanding use, there are notable concerns and limitations associated with the use of FCS. During the FCS-free campaign spearheaded by the 3Rs Centre Utrecht, researchers were encouraged to consider alternatives to FCS (more information here). The campaign provided arguments against the use of FCS, pertaining to the following topics:

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  1. Ethics and animal-welfare
  2. Sustainability
  3. Xenogenicity
  4. Batch-batch variability
  5. Unknown composition
  6. Cost
  7. Physiological relevance
  8. Safety

Together, these ethical and scientific concerns demonstrate the urgency to phase out the use of FCS for cell culture. As science evolves, so do our practices. Please consider transitioning to FCS-free cell culture.


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