Conceptual art of a bottle of Gibco charcoal-stripped FBS over a cell

Charcoal-stripped fetal bovine serum is FBS that has been treated with activated carbon to remove non-polar/lipophilic components (i.e., steroids, growth factors, and some cytokines) regardless of molecular weight with little effect on salts, glucose, amino acids, etc. 

Charcoal-stripped FBS is used when studying the impact of steroids on cells in culture. With low levels of lipophilic components in the basal serum/media, androgens, fatty acids, or other molecules of interest can then be added at desired concentrations to study their effects.

Why researchers choose Gibco charcoal-stripped serum

Watch to discover why the removal of androgens and small molecules in charcoal-stripped FBS and dialyzed FBS are so important in cancer research.

Features of Gibco charcoal-stripped serum

  • Allows experimental control over concentrations of lipid-like components
  • Provides reduced lot-to-lot variability of serum hormone levels
  • Every lot measured for estradiol levels pre-and post-treatment (see  example COA)
  • Available in the convenient Gibco One Shot FBS 50 mL bottle format
Computer generated model of an estrogen receptor

Research areas using charcoal-stripped FBS*

  • Hormones or hormone receptors (androgens, estrogens, progesterone)
  • Cytotoxic drug response
  • Cellular signaling and reporter assays
  • Prostate and other hormone-responsive cancers

* These results are based on a review of approximately 10,000 publications using query terms based on six specialty FBS products offered by Thermo Fisher Scientific. These terms were generated by the MeSH (medical subject headings) taxonomy based on the full text of the paper.

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Publications using Gibco charcoal-stripped FBS


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For Research Use or Further Manufacturing Use only. Serum and blood proteins are not for direct administration into humans or animals.

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