Funky Stuff with serum: CD Stripped, Irradiated, Dialyzed

Blog entry

People can have their serum treated in all kinds of ways. As I spoke about last week, heat inactivation is the most common. But that’s not all that can be done to help ensure sterility and repeatable results.  You can have your serum CD-stripped, Irradiated, or dialyzed, too! I know. Exciting. Compose yourself and get ready to watch me spout off about these treatments. After all, it’s kinda my job……

CD (charcoal-dextran) stripping of serum : Serum is sterilely passed through a filter containing activated carbon (charcoal) which removes the lipohilic (fat soluble) components of serum (most notably steroid hormones like testosterone and estrogen). This is typically done AFTER the three sterile filtering steps, so you stand to lose a little more growth factor, but this is what you’re doing if you’re studying hormones and their effects on your cells. Many folks studying the effects of these hormones use CD-stripped serum.

Dialyzed serum:  Dialyzing is another way to purify serum. Essentially, you put your serum through a treatment of dialysis and removes all those small molecules (biochemically, those under  a molecular weight under 10000).The end result is that dialyzed serum also has many growth factors and cytokines removed, in addition to having many of the hormones removed.   Again, if you’ve read my blogs, I’m all about preserving the growth factors in your serum.  So, I never used this method, but there are scores of reasons people would do this. Again, if you are studying certain growth factors, cytokines, and hormones present in serum, this may be a good way to keep you from worrying about your serum confounding your results.

Gamma irradiation: This is just what it sounds like: Putting serum under irradiation. This is typical of labs that submit their work to the FDA (like pharmaceutical companies working under GMP or GLP conditions). Or labs outside of the US that buy serum from the US.  This sterilizes the serum. It has no other applications.

The good folks at Gemini have the capability of doing all of this fun stuff to your serum, so if you’re in the market for these specialty products, give your rep a call. Once upon a time, I had a hand in training them on these products so they better know what they’re talking about! After all, isn’t it refreshing to know that your rep understands what you need, and why you need it? If anything, maybe you can help me see if my training methods need a little tweaking!