There are fourteen tissue culture suites located mainly in the north, east and west sections of the secondary laboratory floor space of the Blizard Building. Some of the suites are used by specific Centres whereas others are shared. It is the responsibility of the users of these facilities to ensure that they are kept clean and well managed. The two suites at the north end of the building are primarily intended for those working with bacteria (LG 107) or viruses (LG167) as work with Hazard Group 2 pathogens must not be carried out in any of the other TC suites. The Centre for Immunology and Infectious Disease is the main user of these suites. The tissue culture facilities are under constant review in order to ensure that the optimal use is being made of them at all times.
It is essential that those performing tissue culture techniques are adequately trained, this is particularly important if the risk of contamination is to be avoided. A training course 'Good Tissue Culture Practice' is available for staff and students who do not have experience in this area or just require a refresher session.
Exhaust protective cabinets: Microbiological Safety Cabinets (Class 2 MSCs) are available in the tissue culture laboratories. Each of the MSCs within these laboratories should be either designated to a specific range of operations/infectious agents, or used only for sterile cell culture work. Discuss with your supervisor and the Laboratory Management before using either of these facilities.
EVS have been contracted to service and maintain the Class 2 MSCs. The procedures for fumigation and other works related to servicing and maintenance are managed by EVS following its own standard operating procedures. These comply with all H&S requirements with regard to biological safety cabinet servicing and maintenance. EVS will perform the appropriate procedures on a bi-annual basis and all users of the TC suites must cooperate with the EVS engineers as and when requested.
The fumigation of safety cabinets (with formaldehyde or peroxide) may be necessary, prior to preventative maintenance, when the units have been used for microbiological work, when HEPA filters require changing, or when the cabinet has been contaminated following a spillage.
General rules regarding the safe use of biological safety cabinets
Work in MSCs must not commence until sufficient time has been allowed for the establishment of a safe airflow. Safety cabinets must be washed down after use with a suitable disinfectant. Some disinfectants such as Klercide are corrosive and surfaces treated with these products must be rinsed well afterwards to ensure that all traces are removed.
NB If you notice a fault when using any of the above equipment, please inform the Institute Laboratory Management immediately.