Replacing Fetal Bovine Serum (FBS) in Research & Testing

organisiert durch Deutscher Tierschutzbund e. V. - Akademie für Tierschutz

Beginn: Dienstag, 03.11.2020 um 08:30

Ende: Dienstag, 03.11.2020 um 16:00

  • Details zum Event




    • DATE: November 3rd, 2020 from 8:30 a.m. to approx. 4:00 p.m. (CET). To register, click on "jetzt registrieren" at this Website.
    • PLACE: Online-Symposium (in English) via Zoom

    Fetal bovine serum (FBS) is used as an additive for cell and tissue culture media in biomedical research and testing to enhance cell growth. However, there is massive underlying animal suffering in FBS production: To obtain the serum of unborn calves, blood is collected by syringe from the beating heart of fetal calves without anaesthesia, even though there are clear indications that calf fetuses are already capable of suffering. In addition to the ethical dilemma, scientific problems speak against the use of FBS: The exact composition of the serum is unknown and there is a risk of contamination with pathogens that may be present in animal sera. This can compromise cell culture performance and subsequent experiments.

    Thus, switching to FBS-free medium is both an ethical and a scientific necessity. Alternatives to FBS exist and are already used in many cell cultures.


    Our online symposium aims to draw the attention to this topic to increase the acceptance of alternative media already available and to present techniques how cells can be easily switched to FBS-free media.

    International experts from universities, industry, regulatory authorities and animal welfare are going to present the current status of the use of fetal bovine serum (FBS) and the ethical and scientific advantages of FBS-free alternatives. Furthermore, the suitability of serum-free medium for cell cultures will be demonstrated by Dr. Joachim Wiest (cellasys GmbH).


    • Talk 1: Dam transportation, fetal suffering and legal objections – Why Fetal Bovine Serum should be a thing of the past - Tilo Weber (German Animal Welfare Association Department for Alternative Methods to Animal Testing)
    • Talk 2: Replacing Foetal Bovine Serum: A piece of cake? - Dr. Jan van der Valk (3Rs-Centre Utrecht Life Sciences)
    • Talk 3: Human supplements as replacement for fetal bovine serum in mesenchymal stromal cell cultures- Dr. Karen Bieback (Heidelberg University, German Red Cross Blood Service Baden-Württemberg - Hessen gGmbH)
    • Talk 4: Towards the replacement of FBS in cell culture application: the example of A549 cells - Dr. Aline Chary (Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology)
    • Talk 5: Good In Vitro Method Practices (GIVIMP) a key tool for ensuring reproducible study data generation omitting ill-defined animal-derived ingredients like Foetal Bovine Serum (FBS) - Dr. Sandra Coecke (Joint Research Centre of the European Commission)
    • Talk 6: Replacement of Fetal Bovine Serum: A microphysiometric approach and case studies - 
      Dr.-Ing. Joachim Wiest (cellasys GmbH)



    • TARGET GROUP:  Undergraduate, graduate and PhD students, lab technicians (MTA, BTA), post-docs and working group leaders in the fields of biology, life sciences medicine, veterinary medicine and related fields of study. Lectures and discussions will be held in English.
    • REGISTRATION & FEES: Participation fee: 25 Euro; Reduced fee for Undergraduate, Graduate and PhD students: 10 Euro (it is mandatory to present a current certificate of matriculation/confirmation about the current work as a PhD student to obtain the reduced fee). Registration via XING (click on "jetzt registrieren". One registration per person).
    • CONTACT: For further questions please contact us via or +49 89 600 291-27
    • HOSTED BY: Deutscher Tierschutzbund e.V. (German Animal Welfare Federation) and cellasys GmbH
    • SUPPORTED BY: Renate Benthlin-Stiftung für Nutztierschutz


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Kurzbeschreibung des Events

International experts are going to present the current status of the use of fetal bovine serum (FBS) in biomedical research & testing and demonstrate ethical & scientific benefits of FBS-free media


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