Conceptual art of a horse overlayed on a cell
Horse icon

What is horse serum used for?

Gibco horse serum is donor-herd collected in New Zealand and can be used as an alternative to fetal bovine serum.

Horse serum has been cited for use in several specific cell culture applications:

  • Support of in vitro antibody response to SRBC in place of FBS [1]
  • Production of C2 heterokaryons [2]
  • Isolation and culture of primary neural cells [3]
  • Promotion of myogenic differentiation [4]
  • Supplement in mycoplasma broths and agars [5]

In addition to horse serum as a lower cost alternative to FBS, Thermo Fisher Scientific also offers normal horse serum that can be used as a blocker solution in immunoassays.

Gibco horse serum is available in both heat-inactivated and non-heat-inactivated formats.

Horse serum vs FBS

Horse serum can be used as a viable FBS alternative in some cell culture applications. One key horse serum benefit compared to FBS is its lower cost. However, horse serum composition does differ from FBS composition, with horse serum tending to exhibit lower growth factor and higher immunoglobulin levels than FBS [6]. Therefore, due to differences in FBS and horse serum, your specific experiment and needs should be carefully considered when deciding whether to use horse serum.

Horse serum collection, manufacturing, and testing

Collected from donor herds in New Zealand, each lot of horse serum is tested for its ability to support the growth of Sp2/O-Ag14 (murine myeloma) cells in control medium containing the test lot of serum. Results are compared to those obtained using control growth medium with a previously characterized reference serum. In addition, Gibco horse serum is EIA (equine infectious anemia) tested.

Order horse serum



Fetal Bovine Serum Basics
Learn the basics of FBS for cell culture, including information on the FBS uses, components, and the market dynamics driving this industry.

Cell Culture Basics
Learn the fundamentals of cell culture for achieving consistent results, including laboratory setup, safety, and aseptic techniques.

Gibco iMatch Sera Lot Matching Tool 
Provide your previous Gibco FBS lot number or answer a few questions to find your ideal serum match.

Related products


Find your regional sales representative
Connect with a regional FBS sales representative.

Cell Culture & Transfection Support Center
Find technical support recommendations for your cell culture and transfection workflows, including tips for experimental setup and in-depth troubleshooting help.

Need technical support?
Contact our expert team for technical and application support of laboratory products.

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

Stylesheet for Classic Wide Template adjustments