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Proper Handling of Serum

Animal serum is comprised of important proteins, lipids, salts, vitamins, minerals, amino acids and other complex biological materials which are all necessary nutrients for the growth of cells. When stored, thawed and handled properly, the performance characteristics of animal serum can be maintained for many years.
The following Proper Handling procedures apply to our extensive line of animal sera products available:


Once your serum is received, we recommend any serum which you do not plan on using upon opening should be stored protected from light at -15° to -20° C.
Multiple freeze/thaw cycles should be avoided as this could lessen the quality of the serum.  Once the serum has thawed, it should be stored refrigerated at 2° C to 8° C for no longer than 30 days.  We recommend freezing small single-use aliquots of serum if you plan on using only small amounts at a time.  Serum should never be stored in a frost-free freezer which repeatedly goes through defrost cycles.


Thawing serum should be done as quickly as possible in order to minimize the period of time during which elevated salt concentrations prevail in thawed liquid.

Once the bottles are removed from the freezer, we recommend allowing them to acclimate 10 minutes at room temperature or refrigerate overnight at 2° C to 8° C.  The serum may then be completely thawed at room temperature.  Or, you may choose to proceed by thawing the serum in a water bath at 37° C.  Thawing serum at temperatures above 37° C or for an extended period of time could lessen the quality of serum and possibly cause increased amounts of precipitates and/or cause a cloudy appearance to the serum. 
When using a water bath, make sure the bottles do not float in the water and tip over.  Swirl the bottles throughout the thawing process every 10-15 minutes as this will disperse the released salts and proteins uniformly in the liquid and prevents some of the serum from being exposed to elevated temperatures for long periods of time. The serum should also be gently swirled while working at room temperature to make certain that the serum remains homogeneous.


Serum should be frozen as quickly as possible to avoid extended exposure of serum nutrients to higher salt concentrations which can cause excessive formation of crystalline precipitates. 

Shelf Life

Serum may be stored between -15° C and -20° C for up to five years if properly handled, without affecting its performance characteristics.  As a side note, studies throughout the years have shown that animal serum can even promote excellent growth rates well after the expiration dates determined by the manufacturers.     

MSDS - Material Safety Data Sheet

Click on the product listed below for the Material Safety Data Sheet specific to the product type:

Fetal Bovine Serum (FBS)
Newborn Calf Serum (NBCS)
Donor Horse Serum / Equine Serum (DHS)
Pig Serum / Porcine Serum (PS)