Newborn Calf Serum (NBCS), Heat Inactivated
Newborn Calf Serum (NBCS) is is obtained from 3- to 10-day-old calves and can be used as a high-grade replacement (alternative) for Fetal Bovine Serum (FBS). The heat inactivation process inactivates the complement system, antibodies, and other active enzymes.
In comparison, Calf Serum (Bovine Calf Serum, BCS) is obtained from animals that are not more than 12 months old. Newborn Calf Serum and Calf Serum contain more immunoglobulins than Fetal Bovine Serum and have an increased protein content. They are a cost-effective alternative to Fetal Bovine Serum (FBS).
As mentioned above, heat inactivation will inactivate the complement system, antibodies, and other active enzymes. It has to be done in a carefully controlled process to avoid damaging the cell growth-promoting properties of the serum and reducing the formation of unwanted precipitates. The process involves heating the serum in a shaking water bath at exactly +56 °C for 30 minutes. The shaking will help avoid the formation of protein and other forms of precipitates. After 30 minutes the serum is then cooled back down to room temperature as quickly as possible to avoid excessive exposure to heat, which can damage, e.g., growth factors and vitamins.