Should I Heat Inactivate my Serum?

One of the most common questions when using FBS for cell culture is whether the serum should be heat inactivated before adding it to the cell culture medium.  The answer, like so many answers in cell culture, is – “It depends.” 

In this case, whether you Heat Inactivate your serum will depend on whether the cells you are culturing, or the cell culture experiment overall, are affected by the very low concentrations of serum complement that is present in FBS.  The consequences of not heat inactivating your serum in such cases could be spurious experimental results.

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