Our lab conducts research using MSCs and we buy our media from a supplier. Internally we have been sharing information that we have seen at conferences where there can be contamination in raw materials and media. Do you recommend additional testing for media or other raw materials that you bring into the lab and which tests would you recommend.
This question is part of the following Ask The Expert session:
How to minimize contamination risk and protect your cultures
Job Title: Scientific Supporting Specialist supporting EMEA regions
Suppliers of cell lines and raw material should conduct extensive testing before releasing a product, and provide documentation listing what tests were done, and indicate the level of sterility. One thing to note is that sterility assurance levels (SAL) may vary by manufacturer or product. SAL is the probability of one random contaminant occurring on a surface after sterilization and it is expressed as 10-n. Example: SAL 10-3 means that there is a probability of 1 contaminated product out of 1,000. That being said, if you have extremely sensitive cells and/or assays, you may choose to filter sterilize your media prior to use. No further testing should be required. However, some laboratories may need have more stringent guidelines and testing should be tailored to those more extensive needs. Our suggestion is to always contact the supplier for more information or clarity about the tests that were performed on the product supplied Note: If you have specific concerns about a media or reagent, it is good practice to make the manufacturer aware of the potential issue so they can conduct the appropriate quality investigation.