If you have ever worked with Bovine Serum Albumin (BSA), you know that suspending the fluffy crystals in solution can sometimes be a complicated process. BSA is a highly soluble protein due to its strong negative charge and affinity for water. However, there are a number of factors that can impact how quickly and easily the BSA solubilizes. At Boval, we focus our resources solely on this amazing protein and we want to help you find the best method for suspending BSA in your application. To help you get started, we have compiled some information and a list of common questions that might help alleviate some issues in your suspension process.
The Science behind BSA suspension
Before determining the best BSA suspension method, it’s important to understand some of the science behind albumin protein. The albumin molecule, like every protein, gets its unique globular shape from the folding of amino acids. The secondary structure of amino acids that form the albumin protein have areas that are both hydrophilic (have a high affinity for water) and hydrophobic (repels from water) which interact differently with the solution (Masuelli, 2013). BSA that has been enhanced with exogenous lipids tends to take longer to suspend. The reason for this is because the lipids bind to the hydrophilic sites on the molecule which prevents ions in solution from associating with those sites, thus reducing the protein’s overall interaction with water. Similarly, polymerized albumin molecules bind to other molecules through hydrophilic sites, preventing more frequent interactions with the solution.
What is the best step by step process for suspending BSA?
The best procedure for dissolving BSA is to “wet” the BSA by layering the BSA first into your container, followed by the water or buffer solution you are using. Most people want to layer the BSA on top of the solution, but doing so can actually take longer to suspend because the material will float; and in some instances can create dust.
What is the best way to prevent a solution from foaming?
it is not uncommon to see foaming when making a BSA solution which can often lead to longer suspension times. Foam is usually caused by the protein’s dual polymeric and polyelectrolyte nature which causes repulsions, or bubbles, during the absorption process (Krzan, Caps and Vandewalle, 2013.) To avoid foaming, do not agitate or use stir bars to mix the solution. Instead, swirl or rock the solution periodically until there are no crystals, or sediment left on the bottom of the container. Foam can be problematic because foam bubbles can actually trap small lumps of BSA that will increase the non-specific binding in the solution.
What is the best method for suspending large batches of BSA that you can’t mix by hand?
For small batches of solution, we recommend leaving the BSA to settle on its own with a few occasional swirls. Large batches should be stirred on the lowest setting of the mixing equipment you are using; it may take several days to fully suspend BSA in a large batch. Additionally, if you are adding salts to your solution, adding the salts at this step of the process can help the polar portions of the protein disassociate, creating more interactions and therefore allowing it to be more soluble.
How should a prepared solution be stored?
Although BSA prepared in an area with low contamination can be stored at room temperature, we recommend that once your BSA solution is prepared, to store it at 2-8 degrees C. One thing that most people don’t realize about albumin is that it is actually more stable in a liquid format. However, the more albumin is stirred or agitated, the more interactions it will have, allowing it to polymerize at a faster rate; so it’s best to prepare the solution and leave it be.
What is the best solution to suspend BSA in?
Solvents are application based, but typically salt buffers or pure water solutions will work the best for most applications. Typically, albumin close to a neutral pH is soluble up to 35% in a salt solution and up to 50% in a pure water solution.
What is the best filter size to use once a BSA stock solution is made?
A 0.2µm filter is the best choice to reduce the potential for any bacterial contamination. With this filter size, the solution should filter easily unless there are issues with contamination. If it seems difficult to filter through a 0.2µm filter, then a graduated filtration system can help alleviate some issues. For example starting with a 1µm filter then 0.5µm filter, then ultimately 0.2µm terminal filter.
Let our protein experts recommend a BSA suspension method for your large or small batch application. We can also help ensure that you are using the best BSA formula and solution for your specific application. For these technical questions and more, don’t hesitate to contact our team to see how we can help you.
Krzan, M., Caps, H., & Vandewalle, N.(2013). High stability of the bovine serum albumin foams evidence in Hele-Shaw cell. Colloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects, 438, 112-118.
Masuelli, A.M.(2013), Study of Bovine Serum Albumin Solubility in Aqueous Solutions by Intrinsic Viscosity Measurements. Advances in Physical Chemistry, vol. 2013, doi:10.1155/2013/360239
PRESS RELEASE: June 25, 2015
As a loyal Boval customer we have some exciting news to share with you about our lyophilized BSA products. Starting August 1, 2015 all orders sent to you in 10 kilogram containers will have a new look and most importantly, will be more functional for many reasons. We have listened to you, our customers, about your packaging and handling needs for BSA, and are responding by providing this new packaging to ease storage, and product handling issues. Although the outside containers will change, our inside liners that actually contain the BSA powder will not change. The liners will be the same grade, poly-ethylene liners that we currently use in our blue BSA containers, so you don’t have to worry about making a critical change to your products or procedures. Here are some of the benefits that our new, AlbuBin containers will provide:
Tamper evident- the first time a package is opened, a plastic seal must be removed in order to access the contents. If this seal is removed, you will know that it has been tampered with.
- Stackable- more convenient shape for stacking and storing multiple containers.
More convenient to ship- due to stacking ease, we are able to get more containers on one pallet to ship to you for larger sized orders.
Smaller inventory footprint- our stackable containers will save you inventory space and allow you to fit more containers into one area than before.
Facilitates easier product removal- A wide mouth opening allows for easy removal and transfer of the BSA powder.
Easier disposal- The new packaging makes container disposal easier for you and your company.
As always, if you have any questions about Boval or product specifications, please do not hesitate to contact me, Rachel Mitchell, Boval Business Development Manager at 800-635-1706 ext 215 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We appreciate your business very much and look forward to serving you in the future.
Rachel Mitchel, Business Development Manager
PRESS RELEASE: January 12, 2015
For Immediate Release
Lindy Schlotfeld Promoted to Sr. Director of QA and Regulatory Affairs at Boval Company, LP, Chris Utton Promoted to General Manager at Boval BioSolutions, LLC.
Boval Company LP, the parent company for Boval BioSolutions, LLC and Chata Biosystems, LLC has announced promotion of Lindy Schlotfeld to corporate Sr. Director of Quality Assurance and Regulatory Affairs. Ms. Schlotfeld's will take on new roles involving overseeing and implementing quality related systems for all Boval Company, LP's entities .
"Lindy will be directly responsible for some of our biggest and most exciting projects planned in 2015 including FDA site registration at Chata and the development of a proprietary shipping software at Boval BioSolutions. Lindy has been with Boval for ten years and we can't think of a better person for the job." says company President, Cody Yarborough.
Chris Utton, current director of biological operations, has been promoted to the general manager position left by Ms. Schlotfeld at Boval BioSolutions. Chris began at Boval five years ago as a production manager and has been trained under Ms. Schlotfeld for the roles of general manager. He will be responsible for day to day operations at Boval as well as major projects to increase product capacity.
PRESS RELEASE- November 5, 2014
For Immediate Release:
Boval, a leading manufacturer in proteins for cell culture research, has purchased an additional lyophilizer nearly doubling its capacity.
"We have seen a consistent increase in demand that prompted us to invest in additional lyophilization capabilities," says company Vice President of Engineering, Ron Gohdes. "The new lyophilizer will increase capacity by 83% and will represent 45% of our total capacity. It is also the same brand and type of equipment as our two current lyophiziers to streamline maintenance."
Director of Biological Operations Chris Utton also commented, "This is a large project for Boval but is in response to the growing needs of our clients. We are ecstatic about meeting those needs with increased capacity and fully expect the lyo to be installed and validated by the first quarter of 2015."
Questions concerning the expansion should be directed toward Mr. Gohdes, who can be reached at email@example.com.
PRESS RELEASE- October 20, 2014
Rachel Mitchell Joins Boval BioSolutions, LLC as Biological Business Development Manager
We are pleased to announce that Rachel Mitchell has joined Boval in the role of Biological Business Development Manager to support our strategic growth and increased product demand. Rachel has a B.S. in animal science from Colorado State University had eight years of experience in sales and marketing within the animal science and agricultural industry.
General Manager Lindy Schlotfeld commented, "Boval has experienced tremendous growth over the past two years and we are thrilled to have Rachel join us to ensure we are able to service our customers with the same level of care they are used to. Rachel’s experience and knowledge in animal science make her a natural fit for our company."
Rachel can be reached at (817)645-1706 x 215 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
PRESS RELEASE- May 19, 2014
PRESS RELEASE- May 14, 2014
Boval BioSolutions and Biophyll Announce European Distribution Agreement
For Immediate Release
Boval BioSolutions, LLC and Biophyll GmbH, have announced an agreement to stock and distribute Boval biological products in Europe through a network of distributors. Texas based Boval manufactures high purity bovine serum albumin and human serum albumin products for cell culture media and diagnostic reagents. Biophyll GmbH, a German company specializing in the financing and importation of biological raw materials, has over 20 years of experience on the cell culture market. Biophyll’s long history with biologics and biological companies allows them to have strong connections with leading distributors of high quality supplies to the bio-pharmaceutical industry in Europe. The agreement will allow current and future Boval customers to have immediate access to Boval albumin by having the products stocked and stored in their country of location.
Due to the complex nature of European regulations Boval and Biophyll are working with M bioserviceS, experts in worldwide biological sourcing, logistics and regulatory compliance. Terms of the agreement are confidential.
Biophyll’s President Dr. Peter Haeusl states, “having ready access to Boval’s BSA and HSA formulations in Europe allows us ensure the availability of biological raw materials in an ever-changing European regulatory environment.”
Boval Company President Cody Yarborough commented “Europe has always been an important market for our biological products and working with Biophyll to have our products stocked in Europe provides a strategic avenue to ensure our customers are never without their critical raw materials.”
Questions concerning the agreement should be directed toward Mr. Yarborough in the US whose contact information can be found at http://www.bovalco.com or Mr. Haeusl in Germany, who can be reached at email@example.com. Queries regarding European importation regulations and worldwide animal by-product logistics can be addressed to Mrs. Maria Seriakov at http://www.mbioservices.com.
PRESS RELEASE- April 21, 2014
Boval BioSolutions granted ISIA Certificate of Traceability
Boval BioSolutions, LLC is excited to announce its new International Serum Industry Association (ISIA) Certificate of Traceability. Boval has taken aggressive efforts over the past two years to showcase their quality system starting with the certification to ISO 9001 and 13485 standards.
“The ISIA Certificate of Traceability is another example of our standard of excellence as a company” says General Manager, Lindy Schlotfeld.
The Certification of Traceability ensures that Boval has systems in place to document full traceability including, origin, process and supply chain documentation of each batch of serum.
Company President, Cody Yarborough states; “we are really proud of the employees and the dedication they put into our systems. Not all companies will go through the effort it takes to prove the quality of their products.”
Questions can be directed to Jalea Starnes, head of business development for Boval firstname.lastname@example.org.
PRESS RELEASE - November 15, 2013
Boval BioSolutions and Argenta Group Announce Mexican Distribution Agreement
Boval Company, LP and Argenta Group, LLC have announced an agreement to distribute Boval biological products in Mexico through Agenta’s subsidiary, Tecrom Group. Texas based Boval manufacturers high purity bovine serum albumin and human serum albumin products for cell culture media and diagnostic reagents. Tecrom is a leading distributor of high quality laboratory supplies to the pharmaceutical industry in Mexico. Terms of the agreement are confidential and Tecrom will have exclusive distribution rights in Mexico to call on current and prospective clients with Boval’s full technical support.
Argenta’s President Pedro Cattori stated “the addition of Boval’s BSA and HSA formulations as products lines allows us to fulfill a growing need for biological raw materials in Mexico.”
Boval Company President Cody Yarborough commented “Mexico is a growing market for our biological products and working with Tecrom will provide sufficient sales support there. We are working with them on other opportunities and albumin was a good fit.”
Questions concerning the agreement should be directed toward Mr. Yarborough in the US whose contact information can be found at www.bovalco.com or Mr. Cattori in Mexico, whose contact information can be found at www.tecrom.com.
PRESS RELEASE - October 1, 2013
Jalea Starnes Joins Boval as Business Development Associate
We are pleased to announce that Jalea Starnes has returned to Boval in the role of Business Development to support our strategic growth. Jalea was most recently a therapist with Sundance Behavioral Hospitals and a Marketing Specialist with Boval before that. Jalea has a unique background in human behavior and biopharmaceutical development, which is ideal for her new position. Boval, and especially Chata Biosystems, has several opportunities that will shape the company in the years to come that require a dedicated and talented professional. Jalea can be reached at (817)645-1706 or at email@example.com.
PRESS RELEASE - April 26, 2013
Boval Company, L.P. and Chata Biosystems, LLC, both manufacturers of biological reagents and chemical preparations for the pharmaceutical, diagnostic, agricultural and energy industries, announced that they have been certified to the International Standards Organization’s ISO 9001:2008 and ISO 13485:2003 Quality Management Systems. The certifications extend to both the Cleburne, Texas and Loveland, Colorado production facilities. In making the announcement, the company’s president, Cody Yarborough, stated the ISO certification is a rigorous process designed to evaluate the quality systems against established values for improved customer service, quality assurance and manufacturing practices. “I could not be more proud of our employees who not only had to unify the two quality systems following the Chata acquisition but then implemented the necessary changes across the two facilities. The certification process required a significant investment owing to the intensive manufacturing operations at both sites and the wide variety of products we produce. Two employees in particular, Lindy Schlotfeld in Cleburne and Michelle Stahla in Loveland, stood out because they took ownership of the process and led our company’s efforts”. Products manufactured by both Chata and Boval are supplied to other, highly-regulated manufacturers that demand critical quality assurances and are distributed in 22 countries around the globe. Questions regarding the certifications or businesses should be directed to Boval’s headquarters in Cleburne, Texas at (800) 635-1706.
Suspending BSA in Solution
BOVAL Announces New Convenient Use, AlbuBin Containers for 10kg Lyophilized BSA Products