PBS or phosphate-buffered saline is a buffer solution that is particularly valuable because it mimics the ion concentration, osmolarity, and pH of human body fluids. In other words, it's isotonic to human solutions, so it's less likely to cause cell damage, toxicity, or unwanted precipitation in biological, medical, or biochemical research.
PBS has many uses because it is isotonic and non-toxic to cells. It can be used to dilute substances. It is used to rinse containers containing cells. PBS can be used as a diluent in methods to dry biomolecules, as water molecules within it will be structured around the substance (protein, for example) to be ‘dried’ and immobilized to a solid surface. The thin film of water that binds to the substance prevents denaturation or other conformational changes.
The industries PBS is most commonly found or used in are Cell and Gene Therapy, Animal Vaccine, CMO, and Diagnostics and Testing.
Common Applications of PBS include cell dissociation, immunostaining, tissue dissection, perfusion, immunoprecipitation, cell therapy, and flow cytometry.
PBS is a commonly used buffer with a variety of straightforward formulations that are used a large variety of industries. Depending on the formula, PBS can be used in many applications including the following: washing cells before dissociation, transporting cells or tissue samples, diluting cells for counting, and preparing reagents.