5 Steps to a Contamination-free Cell Culture Experience

Posted by Applied Biological Materials (abm) on December 6, 2018

Cell Culture Contamination

No cell biologist wants to hear the words "cell culture contamination". Unfortunately, it is more commonplace in labs than it should be.

While some contaminants are visible to the eye, others are often left undetected due to their lack of visible appearance. This can have serious consequences when it comes to integrity of your experimental results.

Follow the 5 best practices below, and you can minimize your risk of contamination in your cell cultures.

1. Start with a functional BioSafety Cabinet.

Have a proper HEPA Filter BioSafety Cabinet set up for cell culture use. Create a protective physical and airflow barrier to minimize the potential to contaminate cultures during your experiment.

2. Practice good aseptic techniques before you culture.

Wash your hands before wearing your gloves, and wear a clean lab coat. Keep your hood clean and tidy. Remember to sterile filter prepared liquids before use, unless it is obtained from commercial sources.

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3. Cover the culture.

Further minimize air-borne contamination by using the appropriate cell culture wares. Tissue Culture Flasks have added protection against contamination.

4. Test your culture.

Always test growing cultures for mycoplasma using a PCR Mycoplasma Detection Kit. If tested positive, discard the culture immediately so you do not risk cross-contaminating your other cell stocks.

5. Safely freeze down and store your cultures.

Having a good stock of your contamination-free cultures will help you maintain a contamination-free cell culture experience. Use proper Cell Freezing Containers to ensure you have safely frozen down your cells. Store the frozen cell in a Liquid Nitrogen Dewar for long term cell culture storage.

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