Bovine Serum Albumin

Blog entry

So last week, we started our month of albumin celebration with a short blog about human serum albumin. This week, we’ll do the same for a more common lab goodie, bovine serum albumin (BSA).  Admittedly, I’m having a bit of trouble coming up with blog-worthy tidbits and information on albumin so if you just bear with me, you may just find some witty banter hidden in there somewhere!


This is for the biochemists out there: BSA has a molecular weight of approximately 66000, give or take…depending on who you ask.  It is a single polypeptide chain with somewhere in the neighborhood of 585-590 amino acids.  And the general consensus is that the functional (folded) protein is some-what heart-shaped. In its purified state, it is listed as an off-white to tan powder with a greenish cast. What’s with the greenish-cast? Honestly, I don’t really know. But just the fact that we see it in the description is enough to keep me from worrying about it when I think it looks a little green.


So what does Gemini’s BSA have that everyone else’s doesn’t?  For one thing, they’ll go through the process of solubilizing it for you. I’ve spent more than my fair share of staring at the stirplate, waiting. And waiting. And waiting for the BSA to go into solution. Personally, I would rather buy the solutions, anyway. No calculations, no weighing no sticky metal spatulas, and no dirty dishes…….I don’t know about you but that appeals to this scientist!


For all you  die-hards out there who believe you MUST weigh and solubilize your own BSA, Gemini has a multitude of variations, from super-low endotoxin-containing BSA, Fatty acid-free (good for all you folks out there worried about free radicals. Ask me if you have no clue what I’m referring to!), to irradiated BSA.  Just ask your rep about them. And if he or she can’t recite the entire Gemini line of BSA products on command, let me know and I’ll be sure to lay a super-boring, information-packed training session on albumins….And they will LOVE me for it!


Until next week, where we will address this “Fraction V” business, may your BSA solubilize quickly and may the wind be at your back on the way to the cell culture room…….