Safety Considerations in the Tissue Culture Laboratory

Abstract

The routine work of cell maintenance and some experiments that affect cells in culture can potentially pose a hazard to the researcher. Hazards may be associated with equipment, sterilisation methods, tissue or whole animal sources used to obtain the cells, as well as experiments that are designed to be detrimental to or alter the normal cell function. Essentially, hazards can be of mechanical, chemical, ionising or biological origin. Regardless of the source, the culturist can still work effectively and be safe. To do so, the culturist should be armed with proper training for cell culture studies, adequate personal protection equipment, advanced knowledge of any potential hazard and sources of information for responding in an emergency. With these tools, the risk to the culturist is minimised. The approaches to some of these issues are discussed below.

Key Concepts:

  • Properly prepared cell culturists can work safely.

  • Sterilisation used to protect the cells can harm culturists.

  • Culturists should be fully aware of potential hazards during experiments designed to change or kill cells.

Keywords: safety; biohazards; hazards; cells; culture

Figure 1.

Class I BSC showing a side view of the cabinet and air flow. The letters represent various portions of the cabinet as follows: A indicates the view plate or glass area in front of the cabinet; B shows the opening that allows the culturist to access the cabinet; C indicates the space for air flow to the filter; and D represents the HEPA filter.

close

References

Becker WM, Kleinsmith LJ, Harden J and Bertoni GP (2009a) DNA damage and repair. In: The World of the Cell, 7th edn. pp. 569–571. San Francisco: Pearson Benjamin Cummings.

Becker WM, Kleinsmith LJ, Harden J and Bertoni GP (2009b) Macromolecules of the cell. In: The World of the Cell, 7th edn. pp. 41–74. San Francisco: Pearson Benjamin Cummings.

BMBL (2009) Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories (BMBL), 5th edn. San Francisco: PDF US Department of Health and Human Services, Center for Disease Control and National Institutes of Health. http://www.cdc.gov/biosafety/publications/bmbl5/BMBL.pdf

NIH (2011) NIH Guidelines for Research Involving Recombinant DNA Molecules (NIH Guidelines). http://oba.od.nih.gov/oba/rac/Guidelines/NIH_Guidelines.html

Wiley JM, Sherwood LM and Woolverton CJ (2008) Control of microorganisms by physical and chemical agents. In: TitlePrescott, Harley, and Klein's Microbiology, 7th edn, pp. 149–166. New York: McGraw‐Hill.

World Health Organization (WHO) (2004) Laboratory Biosafety Manual, 3rd edn. Geneva: PDF World Health Organization. http://who.int/topics/biosafety/en/.

Further Reading

Freshney RI (2005) Culture of Animal Cells: A Manual of Basic Technique, 5th edn. Hoboken: Wiley.

Web Links

Center for Disease Control and Prevention: Biosafety. http://www.cdc.gov/biosafety/publications/

Center for Disease Control and Prevention: Workplace Safety and Health. http://www.cdc.gov/workplace/

National Institutes of Health: NIH Guidelines for Research Involving Recombinant DNA Molecules. http://oba.od.nih.gov/rdna/nih_guidelines_oba.html

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA): Publications Bloodborne Pathogens. http://www.osha.gov

World Health Organization (home page): Biosafety. http://who.int

Contact Editor close
Submit a note to the editor about this article by filling in the form below.

* Required Field

How to Cite close
Martin, Bernice M(Nov 2011) Safety Considerations in the Tissue Culture Laboratory. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. http://www.els.net [doi: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0002563.pub2]