Brunner D, Frank J, Appl H, Schöffl H, Pfaller W & Gstraunthaler G. Serum-free cell culture: the serum-free media interactive online database. ALTEX 2010;27(1): 53-62.
Fetal bovine serum (FBS) is a ubiquitously used essential supplement in cell culture media. However, there are serious scientific and ethical concerns about the use of FBS regarding its harvest and production. During the last three decades, FBS could be substituted by other supplements or by the use of defined chemical components in serum-free cell culture. A number of serum-free medium formulations have been described for mammalian and insect cell lines as well as for primary cultures. However, the switch to serum-free media still demands a time-consuming literature survey and a manufacturer search for appropriate medium formulations, respectively. Here we present the second collection of commercially available serum-free media in an updated, freely accessible interactive online database. Searches for serum-free media and continuous cell lines already adapted to serum-free culture can be performed according to various criteria. These include the degree of chemical definition, e.g. serum-free (SF), animal-derived component free (ADCF) or chemically defined (CD), and the type of medium, e.g. basal media, medium supplements, or full replacement media. In order to specify the cell lines that are adapted to serum-free media, search terms like species, organ, tissue, cell type and disease can be used. All commercially available serum-free media and adapted cell lines currently available from major distributors (e.g. ATCC, ECACC and DMSZ) are included in the database. Despite an extensive search for serum-free media and adapted cell lines, detailed information from certain companies and suppliers is still lacking and is specifically highlighted. It is intended to create a platform for the interactive exchange of information and experience by experts in the field in order to continuously improve and extend the serum-free online database. The database is accessible at http://www.goodcellculture.com/