Database content

The FCS-free Database lists FCS-free media, available for specific cell lines or cell types. Some media are designed to support a particular cell type but may support a wider range of cells.

By default, the database shows the columns cell line/type, species, product, animal free and source. You can edit the columns shown by clicking the 'Edit column views' button on the top right corner of the database. You can also sort the results by a specific column by clicking on the column name. Furthermore, it is possible to export the search results into an CSV-file. To accomplish this, use the 'Export to CSV' button on the top right corner of the database. NOTE: If you export the results into Excel, all results from multiple columns end up in one column. Make sure to use the 'text to columns' button in order to separate the contents of one cell into separate columns.

Screenshot of the FCS-free Database

Filter definitions

Cell line/type
The cell line/type filter is the main entry of the database. It enables you to search for products that are available for specific cell lines or cell types. Multiple products can be available for one cell type. Common, commercially available cells are often abbreviated, whereas primary cell lines are written out. Once you click on ‘please select a cell line/type, you can start typing a cell type and the results will be shown in a drop-down menu. Then, click on a cell type to see the products that match with it.

Animal free
All products in this database are FCS-free. Media that are entirely free of animal-derived components are listed as animal free. You can choose this factor as a filter in your search. NOTE: human-derived components, such as human platelet lysates, are considered animal free in this database, except when it concerns human serum.

The product filter corresponds with the name of the product. The product name is the unique value in this database. A product can be available for multiple cell lines or types. If the product concerns a recipe obtained from literature that is not based on a commercial product, the product name is the author (year) of the corresponding publication.

The source filter allows you to choose between companies that produce FCS-free media, or to choose a product that is described in scientific literature.

The species filter enables you to select for which species and/or cell types the product is tested.

In addition to the filters stated above, the parameter filter provides extra possibilities to narrow your search. The parameter filter contains sub-filters which become visible after clicking on the funnel sign behind the parameter name. Parameter lists are in alphabetical order. Parameters included in the database are:

  • Antibiotics free: If you click the funnel next to this filter, you can choose to show only products that are known to be either antibiotics free or not.
  • Chemically defined: If you click the funnel, you can choose to show only products that are either chemically defined or not.
  • Contains phenol red: If you click the funnel, you can choose to show only products that are known to either contain phenol red or not.


Use of filters and filter options

When no filter has been selected yet, a screen with a selection of default results is shown. You can start a search by selecting a cell line. Only one cell line can be selected at the time. After making the cell line selection, different species, products, information sources animal free status and parameters can be selected.  

After selecting a filter item, the other filters available (number of records, available conditions and parameters) will be adjusted to this. For example: when choosing the cell line 'astrocyte' and species ‘human’, only parameters and conditions which are applicable to this selection are shown in the filter lists. Behind each filter item, the number of available results is displayed between brackets. 

The filter options of the FCS-free Database make it possible to compare parameter values of multiple products. To clear all selected filters, click ‘Clear filters’. 

Presentation of results

Results of the filter selection are displayed in the results screen next to the filters. The filter names are displayed as titles of the columns. With ‘edit column views’, you can choose which filters or parameters are displayed in the results screen. By clicking on the column title, the results can be sorted on a particular filter.

Long texts in the results screen are shortened, indicated by dots. When moving the mouse over the text, the full text appears.    

By clicking anywhere on a result, a pop-up window will appear with more detailed information. In this pop-up window all parameters which are available for the selected combination (cell line/type, species, animal free, product, source, and other parameters) are shown. For each product, more detailed product information is available by clicking on the red arrow next to the product value. In case of commercially available products, this information also provides an URL to the website of the product supplier.

Presentation of results

Comparing results

To compare results, tap the boxes at the end of each row and click on ‘compare’. The compare screen will appear. In this screen, the filter titles and parameters are shown in rows and the cell line - product combination in columns. 

The rows in the compare screen can be locked, so they will stay in position when scrolling up or down. 
More detailed information on the results (such as reference and remark) become visible by clicking on the cell line - product combination at the top of each column. The same pop-up window as in the results screen appears. 

When all results in a row are equal, this row will be green. This way, you can see on what details two or more cell line - product combinations differ or resemble each other.

By clicking ‘back to overview’, you return to the results screen. All selections remain and no results are removed.  

Removing results can be done by clicking ‘remove’ in the compare screen or tapping the boxes in the results screen again (deselecting them). Without doing this, in another selection session (even when clicking ‘reset defaults’) the results will still appear in the compare screen and multiple selection sessions can be compared. Selected results can be definitely removed by refreshing the internet browser.   


You can download this user guide here.

Compare results screen