Conceptual art of a tet-free FBS bottle overlayed on a cell
Diagram of gene expression regulation by tetracycline to show why tet-free FBS is important for use with this system

Because some lots of FBS contain residual amounts of the antibiotic tetracycline (tet), unintended expression can occur in very sensitive tet-inducible gene expression systems. Tetracycline-system approved FBS, also known as tet-free FBS (tetracycline-free FBS), is designed and tested to ensure the absence of detectable tetracycline and tetracycline analogs, making this specialty serum ideal for cell culture applications relying on these expression systems.

Features of Gibco Tet-Approved FBS

Two different sized bottles of Gibco Tet-System Approved FBS
  • Undergoes functional, cell-based assays to verify absence of tetracycline or its derivatives
  • Delivers quicker workflows, reduced background noise, and increased consistency of expression when working with tet-inducible expression systems
  • To manage experimental budgets, cells can be maintained in standard FBS and introduced to tet-approved FBS in the critical days prior to running assays
  • Also available in the aliquot-free Gibco One Shot FBS 50 mL bottle

Research areas using tet-system approved (tetracycline-free) FBS

Tet-approved FBS can be used in many applications.

Research areaExample
NeuroscienceProduce GABAA receptors for electrophysiological study [1]
Cancer researchQuantitatively control PVT1 expression by tet-on in bladder cancer [2]
Tetracycline-regulated shRNA expression to apply to monocyte interaction [3]

Drug screening
Establish cell line with inducible Glutamate receptor for drug screening [4]
Vaccine developmentResearch for the safer vaccinia virus vaccines with tet-inducible system [5]
Gene editingCRISPR/Cas9-mediated control of NFAT5 [6] and PVT1 and ANRIL [7]

Researcher quotes

Tet-approved FBS: case study results

A biomanufacturing organization looking to improve the safety of cell culture virus production has engineered a cell line that will only permit virus expression in the presence of tetracycline. Replacing traditional FBS with tet-approved FBS (tetracycline-free FBS) improves control over when the virus is produced.

FBS usedConditionResult
Tet-System Approved FBS-Tet
Fluorescence micrograph of cells showing no detectable fluorescence, indicating that virus production does not occur in the absence of tet when using Tet-approved FBS
No active virus production
Low biosafety risk
Tet-System Approved FBS+Tet
Fluorescence micrograph of cells with high intensity level in the cytoplasm indicating high virus expression
Virus production as expected
Low biosafety risk
Standard FBS with residual tetracycline-Tet
Fluorescence micrograph of cells with visible fluorescence in the cytoplasm, indicating low level virus expression
Virus production when none was expected
Significant biosafety risk
Standard FBS with residual tetracycline+Tet
Fluorescence micrograph of cells with high intensity level in the cytoplasm indicating high virus expression
Virus production as expected
Low biosafety risk

Use of tet-approved FBS helps provide optimal control of the virus production.

Tet-system approved FBS—a secure and efficient solution



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