I have to admit that I never received the Fields Medal in Mathematics. Therefore, I won’t be able to develop this equation and prove that I’m right. However, what I can prove, is that in cell culture, 2 = 5.  How is this possible?

Let’s start from the beginning… Fetal Bovine Serum (FBS) is – still – the primary media supplement used for human cell culture. Cell therapy, and starting from early research projects, needs media supplements other than non-human products such as FBS. Human Platelet Lysates (hPL) are very good alternative to FBS, in the sense that they offer growth factors and cytokines from human origin.

Recently, San Diego Blood Bank (SDBB) developed their own manufacturing process for hPL, under the Clearsate brand name. Clearsate was optimized to improve potency, and remove any additives or animal proteins (as opposed to other commercially available hPL).

Before further developing the 2 = 5 theory, I’d like to share comparison data of Clearsate vs. FBS and other commercially available hPL. The graph below clearly indicates superior or similar doubling times vs. competitors and FBS.

Doubling time

Cell Doubling Time Effects (A549 cells) 2% FBS, Clearsate, or hPL Supplement

Now that we have shown Clearsate doubling time is at least as good as FBS, let’s go back to the equation. For this, look at this comparison of Clearsate and FBS on cord blood MSC growth.

Comparison of Clearsate and FBS on Cord Blood MSC Growth

Comparison of Clearsate and FBS on Cord Blood MSC Growth

With these results, we clearly demonstrate that, due to the extended performance of Clearsate, 2% allows for better cell growth than 5 or 10% FBS after 96 hours. Clearsate is thus an economical solution vs. FBS, with less frequent media changes and lower concentration to be used.

Is this applicable with other cell types, in labs other than SDBB?

I see you are skeptical. OK, fair enough. We asked UC San Diego to test Clearsate vs. FBS on their cellular models. Here are their results with Normal Bone Marrow-Derived T-Cell 5 Day Culture.

Normal Bone Marrow-Derived T-Cell 5 Day Culture with FCS or Clearsate (CS)

Normal Bone Marrow-Derived T-Cell 5 Day Culture with FCS or Clearsate (CS)

These data clearly demonstrate using 2% Clearsate on 3 T cells populations improve cell growth vs. 10% FBS. 5% Clearsate doesn’t significantly improve cell count vs. 2%.

So to conclude, I can say that by using Clearsate, 2 = 5 (and even sometimes 2 = 10). Would you like to test how Clearsate performs on your cellular models? Click here or contact me through the form below (trust me, we won’t discuss mathematics!).

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Written by Jean-François Têtu, PhD
Jean-François Têtu is Sales Manager at tebu-bio for the south of Europe and also for the UK and Eire. He also fervently defends and promotes anything from his home territory, the north of France.