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Safety Considerations in the Tissue Culture Laboratory

  1. Bernice M Martin

Published Online: 15 NOV 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0002563.pub2



How to Cite

Martin, B. M. 2011. Safety Considerations in the Tissue Culture Laboratory. eLS. .

Author Information

  1. Suffolk University, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 NOV 2011


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.


  • safety;
  • biohazards;
  • hazards;
  • cells;
  • culture