How to make a one percent BSA solution

Written by anna magracheva
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How to make a one percent BSA solution
Avoid unnecessary transfers between containers to prevent contamination. (Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

Bovine serum albumin (BSA) is the most abundant protein in the serum of bovine. It is used widely in biochemical assays, especially immunological assays such as enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), immunoblots and immunohistochemistry. BSA stabilises enzymes during digestion on deoxyribonucleic acid and prevents non-specific binding of protein to test tubes and membranes. It also is used as a standard to determine the quantity of proteins under investigation; an unknown amount of a studied protein is compared to a known amount of BSA. Making a 1 per cent BSA solution is fairly simple.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Sterile beaker
  • Sterile magnetic stir bar
  • Stir plate
  • Powdered BSA
  • Weighing scale
  • Weigh boat
  • Graduated cylinder
  • Deionised water
  • Sterile storage bottle

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  1. 1

    Fill a sterile beaker with 70ml of water, and place a sterile, magnetic stir bar in the beaker. Place the beaker on a stir plate, and turn on the stir plate to a low speed.

  2. 2

    Place 1g of powdered BSA in a weight boat. Transfer the BSA from the weigh boat into the beaker. If you need to, turn up the stir plate speed until the BSA dissolves. Wait for the BSA to dissolve completely dissolved before proceeding.

  3. 3

    Transfer the beaker's contents to a graduated cylinder. Leave the stir bar in the beaker.

  4. 4

    Raise the total volume in the graduated cylinder to 100mL by adding deionised water.

  5. 5

    Transfer the graduated cylinder's contents to a sterile storage bottle.

Tips and warnings

  • Store BSA solution at 4 degrees Celsius.
  • To make a different volume, simply divide the final volume by 100 and dissolve that amount of powdered BSA in deionised water. For example, to make 1000mL (1L), divide 1,000 by 100 to get 10, and dissolve 10mg of BSA in 1000mL of water.
  • Wear personal protective equipment when working with biological agents in a laboratory. They include a laboratory coat, gloves and goggles to protect yourself from splashes.

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