Bovine Serum Albumin (BSA) is commonly used to stabilize some proteins during reactions, and can also prevent adhesion to reaction tubes and pipette surfaces. We understand that there is an increased need for comparable performance using BSA-free reagents, and are excited to announce that beginning April 2021, NEB will be switching our current BSA-containing reaction buffers (NEBuffer 1.1, 2.1, 3.1 and CutSmart® Buffer) to Recombinant Albumin-containing buffers (NEBuffer r1.1, r2.1, r3.1 and rCutSmart™ Buffer). We anticipate that this switch may take as long as 6 months to complete. We are also in the process of moving all restriction enzyme formulations to contain rAlbumin. We feel that moving away from animal-containing products is a step in the right direction and are able to offer this enhancement at the same price.

What does this mean for you?

During this transition period, you may receive product with BSA or rAlbumin-containing buffers. NEB has rigorously tested both and has not seen a difference in enzyme performance when using either buffer. Either buffer can be used with your enzyme. All website content will be switched in April to reflect the changes, although you may not receive the new buffer with your product immediately.

Key points to remember

    rAlbumin_BufferChanges_0321
  • Use of rAlbumin in reaction buffers enables them to be used in situations where BSA-free reagents are required
  • There is no difference in enzyme performance when using buffers containing BSA and buffers containing rAlbumin
  • If you have a buffer containing rAlbumin, we recommend using it, but you can also continue to use buffers containing BSA if “BSA-free” is not a requirement
  • NEB offers the NEBuffer Set (r1.1, r2.1, r3.1 & rCutSmart Buffer) and rCutSmart Buffer if you wish to purchase these buffers separately
  • If you have any questions, please contact us at info@neb.com


FAQ



What is Recombinant Albumin (rAlbumin)?

Recombinant Albumin (rAlbumin) (NEB #B9200) is a non-bovine derived albumin that can serve as an alternative to Bovine Serum Albumin
(BSA). Like BSA, it has been shown to prevent adhesion of enzymes to reaction tubes and pipette surfaces. It also stabilizes some
proteins during incubation. Choose Recombinant Albumin when there is a need to avoid BSA.

Why is NEB switching to buffers containing Recombinant Albumin (rAlbumin)?

In addition to being animal-free, a recombinant source of albumin offers increased consistency and purity. It eliminates sources of contamination and decreases lot-to-lot variability.

Is there a performance difference between buffers and enzyme formulations containing BSA and buffers containing Recombinant Albumin (rAlbumin)?

NEB has rigorously tested the performance between BSA- and rAlbumin-containing buffers and enzyme formulations (NEB #B9200). We have not seen a difference in enzyme performance when using either. Rest assured, you can continue to use either version for your experiments.



ClaI (NEB #R0197) restriction endonuclease was formulated with BSA or Recombinant Albumin (rAlbumin). Each of these formulations was tested using either A. CutSmart (contains BSA) or B. rCutSmart (contains rAlbumin) Buffer. Serial dilutions of ClaI were tested using Lambda DNA and the recommended assay conditions, followed by analysis using agarose gel electrophoresis. M is marker 1 kb Plus DNA Ladder (NEB #N3200). ClaI activity is the same in all formulation conditions tested. These representative data demonstrate equal performance between BSA and rAlbumin when used in both enzyme formulation and reaction buffer.


The enzyme I received says it contains BSA in the reaction buffer but the website says it contains Recombinant Albumin (rAlbumin)? Which is correct?

Beginning in April 2021, NEB will be switching all NEBuffers with BSA to contain rAlbumin (NEB #B9200). All content on the website will be updated in April 2021 to reflect this change. That said, it may take until the end of 2021 to complete the switchover; during this time, you may receive a buffer containing BSA or rAlbumin with your product. There is no difference in enzyme performance when using either buffer, so we recommend using whichever buffer is included with your enzyme.

Should I only be using buffers containing Recombinant Albumin (rAlbumin)?

Beginning in April 2021, NEB will be switching all NEBuffers with BSA to contain rAlbumin (NEB #B9200). During this time, you may receive a buffer containing BSA or rAlbumin with your product. There is no difference in enzyme performance when using either buffer, so we recommend using whichever buffer is included with your enzyme. We anticipate that all NEBuffers will have transitioned over to containing rAlbumin by the end of 2021.

Can I continue to use the reaction buffers containing BSA?

Yes, since there is no difference in enzyme performance when using NEBuffers containing BSA or Recombinant Albumin (rAlbumin) (NEB #B9200), you can continue to use buffers containing BSA. Please note that by the end of 2021, we will no longer supply BSA-containing buffers.

Can I purchase buffers containing Recombinant Albumin (rAlbumin) separately?

Yes, NEBuffer Set (r1.1, r2.1, r3.1, rCutSmart) (NEB #B7030) can be purchased separately. This product contains one vial of each rAlbumin-containing buffer. You can also purchase rCutSmart Buffer (NEB #B6004) which contains 4 vials of rCutSmart Buffer. In addition, Recombinant Albumin (NEB #B9200) is available as a stand-alone product.

I currently manage an NEB Freezer Program. What does this change mean for me?

Beginning in April 2021, you will start to see products containing NEBuffers with Recombinant Albumin (rAlbumin) (NEB #B9200) in your shipments. Beginning in July 2021, you will start to see restriction enzyme formulations containing rAlbumin.  Since there is no difference in enzyme performance, you can continue to include both products containing BSA or rAlbumin in the freezer; there will not be a catalog number change with these changes.

 

 

This content is covered by patents, trademarks and/or copyrights owned or controlled by New England Biolabs, Inc. For more information, please email us at gbd@neb.com. The use of these products may require you to obtain additional third party intellectual property rights for certain applications.

Questions?

Please feel free to contact us with questions about this buffer change.

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