Structural and Biochemical Features of Human Serum Albumin Essential for Eukaryotic Cell Culture

Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Aug 5;22(16):8411. doi: 10.3390/ijms22168411.


Serum albumin physically interacts with fatty acids, small molecules, metal ions, and several other proteins. Binding with a plethora of bioactive substances makes it a critical transport molecule. Albumin also scavenges the reactive oxygen species that are harmful to cell survival. These properties make albumin an excellent choice to promote cell growth and maintain a variety of eukaryotic cells under in vitro culture environment. Furthermore, purified recombinant human serum albumin is mostly free from impurities and modifications, providing a perfect choice as an additive in cell and tissue culture media while avoiding any regulatory constraints. This review discusses key features of human serum albumin implicated in cell growth and survival under in vitro conditions.

Keywords: cell culture; human serum albumin; ligand binding.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Line
  • Culture Media / metabolism
  • Eukaryotic Cells / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Serum Albumin, Human / metabolism*


  • Culture Media
  • Serum Albumin, Human