Serum albumin is a multi-functional protein found in blood plasma and serum that is critical to cell health.

Serum albumin binds and delivers important nutrients to cells. Serum albumin also binds and isolates toxins from cells.

Serum Albumin in Cell Culture

In cell culture, serum albumin is added to cell culture media as a supplement to increase the growth and productivity of cells and increase overall cell health. Serum albumin carries and delivers important nutrients to cells. It binds toxins to avoid toxic effects, binds excessive proteins to act as a buffer and binds hormones and growth peptides to keep them stable. Albumin also binds free radicals to reduce damage to cells. In serum-free media, serum albumin is often used in place of fetal bovine serum. Serum albumin added to cell culture media improves the performance of a wide range of cell types including stem cells, primary cells, vero cells and CHO cells.

Serum albumin as a cell culture supplement can be sourced through bovine blood or human blood, but these sources carry safety concerns including risk of viral or prion contamination and problems with inconsistency across product lots. Cellastim, produced in an animal-free, recombinant system (See ExpressTec) provides all the benefits of serum albumin, without the inconsistency or safety concerns.

Serum Albumin as a Blocking Agent

Serum albumin is a common blocking agent because of its binding properties. It can greatly reduce contamination binding that can interfere in common molecular biology assays. It is also used as a blocking agent in many other clinical applications including diagnostic procedures, medical devices and surgical stents.

Albumin as a blocking agent can be sources from bovine blood (BSA) or human blood (pHSA), but these sources are often inconsistent across product lots and create problems with non-specific binding and biomarker stability. Cellastim, produced in an animal-free, recombinant system (See ExpressTec) provides a binding agent that is consistent, immunoglobulin free, and protease free. In addition, recombinant serum albumin reduces non-specific binding and increases biomarker stability thus improving specificity. Cellastim is a cost-effective way to replace blood-derived albumin for improved performance.

Serum Albumin in Protein Binding

Albumin is used in many implantable biomaterials, surgical adhesives and surgical sealants due to its ability to coagulate. Its conjugation seals and binds in a way that few other biomaterials can.

Serum albumin for protein binding can be sourced through bovine blood or human blood, but these sources carry safety concerns including risk of viral or prion contamination and problems with inconsistency across product lots similar to the problems faced when using this product for cell culture. Cellastim, produced in an animal-free, recombinant system (See ExpressTec) provides protein binding capacity, without the safety concerns of bovine serum albumin or human plasma derived serum albumin.

Other Serum Albumin Information

Albumin is a multi-functional protein that has many functions throughout the body. In addition to its use in cell culture, blocking agents and protein binding, serum albumin is also used in drug delivery to transport pharmaceutical drugs like antibiotics and anti-inflammatories. It is also frequently used as an excipient in pharmaceuticals because of its ability to stabilize other proteins in solution. Serum albumin also has several direct applications in human health including clinical applications for burn victims, hemorrhages, malnourishment and liver or kidney failure.

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