Gibco bovine (aka calf serum) serum is collected from prime cattle with an age range of 12-36 months, but typically less than 24 months. All lots are processed and manufactured in New Zealand. Each lot of bovine serum is tested for its ability to support the growth of VERO cells over three subcultures. At each passage, the cells subcultured to the original cell-inoculation density. Results are compared to parallel results obtained using control growth medium containing a previously characterized reference serum.

Bovine serum is available in a heat inactivated and non-heat inactivated format. In addition, we offer a donor bovine serum and a donor bovine serum with iron.

  • HI serum is heated for 30 minutes at 56°C while mixing to inactivate the complement
  • Donor bovine serum with iron contains a Ferric citrate complex at 6.0 mg/dl 

Common Uses

  • Cultivation of Plasmodium Falciparum - Neopeptone and proteose-peptone no.3 added together with calf serum gave parasite growth rates comparable to, or surpassing, those obtained with human serum2

Bovine with Iron:
  • A viable alternative to fetal bovine serum (FBS) in the growth promotion and cloning efficiency of Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells that are used in the HGPRT mutation assay1


  1. Oberly, J., Rexroat, M., Richardson, R., Iron-supplemented bovine serum as an alternative… Toxicology Division, Lilly Research Laboratories, A Division of Eli Lilly and Company, Greenfield, IN 46140 U.S.A. Accepted 8 December 1989. Communicated by R.J. Preston. Available online 15 January 2003.
  2. Ifediba, T., Vanderberg, J. Peptones and calf serum as a replacement… Division of Parasitology, Department of Microbiology, New York University medical School. 66(2) 1980, p. 236-239