I haven’t seen a question yet on cell line contamination, i.e. the cells don’t have the correct lineage. What are your thoughts on how to deal with this problem?


Cross-contamination of cultures is the unintended mix up of different cell lines leading to a mixed population . It can have various causes  as example: cross-use or sharing of media from a different cell line, and share Equipment (Biosafety cabinets).

Approaches :

  • Quarantine all cultures coming into the laboratory until they have been tested/checked first. A first step when starting a culture is cell authentication to determine identity and species of cells
  • Periodically check your cells for morphology or genetic changes. Cell authentication to determine identity and species of cells is extremely important
  • Work with only one cell line at a time whenever possible
  • Thoroughly clean before and after introducing a new cell line into the laminar flow hood
  • Daily cleaning of hood space with 70% alcohol, as well as monthly cleaning with 10% bleach or equivalent products
  • Storing cell line stocks in vapor phase of LN2 , not in liquid phase

Ref: CLS-CG-TS-077 REV1 https://www.corning.com/catalog/cls/documents/application-notes/CLS-CG-TS-077.pdf

Please also see – A guide to contamination, which can be a helpful resource as well: https://www.corning.com/worldwide/en/products/life-sciences/resources/webforms/cell-culture-contamination-guide.html

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