Heat Inactivation: What it is and Why Researchers May Use It

Heat Inactivation: What it is and Why Researchers May Use It

Posted by Adam Awdish on

In the realm of in vitro biological research, ensuring the integrity and consistency of samples is paramount. Serum and plasma, while rich sources of biomolecules, can harbor active enzymes that pose challenges in downstream experiments or assays, impacting the data and results. Heat inactivation presents a well-established technique to address this issue by selectively deactivating these enzymes.

The Rationale for Heat Inactivation

Enzymes, naturally present within serum and plasma, can introduce unintended enzymatic activity during experimentation. This activity may lead to the degradation of essential components within the sample or trigger unwanted reactions, compromising the validity of results. Heat inactivation offers a controlled approach to mitigate these concerns.

The Mechanism of Heat Inactivation

This technique leverages the principle of thermal denaturation. By subjecting the serum or plasma sample to a precisely defined temperature (often around 56°C) for a predetermined duration (typically 30 minutes), a significant portion of the enzymes present are effectively inactivated. Importantly, this process primarily targets enzymes due to their inherent heat sensitivity, leaving other vital biomolecules largely unaffected.

Considerations and Potential Effects

While a valuable tool, it is crucial to acknowledge the potential limitations of heat inactivation. While primarily targeting enzymes, some proteins within the sample may also undergo denaturation during the process. Therefore, meticulously selecting the appropriate temperature and incubation time is essential. This optimization ensures effective enzyme inactivation while minimizing unintended protein damage.

The Role of Heat Inactivation in Experimental Design

The necessity for heat inactivation hinges on the specific downstream experiment. If the enzymes present in the serum or plasma do not interfere with the intended assay or model, then heat treatment might be an unnecessary step. However, for experiments sensitive to enzyme activity, heat inactivation becomes a critical step for ensuring the reliability and reproducibility of the results.


Heat inactivation serves as a valuable tool for researchers working with serum and plasma samples. By understanding the impact of this technique and employing appropriate parameters, researchers can confidently proceed with their experiments, knowing that enzymatic interferences have been effectively mitigated. For optimal application, it is always recommended to consult established protocols specific to the chosen experiment to determine the most suitable heat inactivation approach.

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At Innovative Research, we are committed to providing the scientific community with the highest quality biological products. Have questions or need assistance? Contact us via email at sales@innov-research.com or phone us at +1 248 896 0145 or toll-free at 888 660 6866.

  • Tags: academic research, Animal Plasma, Animal Serum, Heat Inactivated, Human Plasma, Human Serum, Innovative Grade US Origin Fetal Bovine Serum Heat Inactivated, Pooled Human AB Serum Off The Clot Heat Inactivated, Pooled Human AB Serum Plasma Derived Heat Inactivated

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