How to Prevent Cell Culture Contamination

One of the most frightening things in cell experiments is the contamination of precious cells. Cell contamination is a very common problem in the laboratory, and there are many different types of contamination, which can have a very bad effect on the experiment or even destroy the cells that have been cultivated with a lot of effort. Therefore, we need to pay attention to avoiding the problem of cell contamination, prevent it in the experiment, and try to eliminate it as much as possible from the beginning instead of regretting it after something goes wrong.

Common Cell Contamination

Bacterial Contamination Cell Culture

  • After the cultured cells are contaminated by bacteria, the cell growth is significantly affected.
  • Most of the contaminated culture solution will become turbid, and a few culture solutions have little change, but they can be observed under a microscope.
  • Depending on the bacteria that infects it, it will look different under a microscope.

  • We should try our best to observe and record the condition of cells every day.
  • After bacterial contamination, the cells will undergo obvious changes, such as the increase and thickening of intracellular particles.

Fungal Contamination

  • Cell cultures in wet seasons are prone to fungal contamination.
  • The formation of white floaters may be seen in the culture medium following mold contamination.
  • Filamentous hyphae between cells can be observed under a microscope, which has a greater impact on local cells and easily contaminates other cells.

Mycoplasma Contamination

  • Mycoplasma contamination is a kind of cell pollution that is not easy to find, because the pathological changes of this kind of polluted cells are not obvious, and they just die slowly. So it may be difficult to realize that the cell is contaminated until the cell is in trouble.
  • This may be the case if no cytopathic changes are observed but the experiment always fails.
  • To prevent mycoplasma contamination, we need to choose those reliable companies to purchase mycoplasma-free serum, medium, and cells that need to be purchased.
  • Moreover, we also need to screen the cells frequently and conduct mycoplasma detection regularly to ensure the normal growth of the cells.

The above are three common cell culture contaminants. Other common cell contaminations include protozoan contamination and virus contamination, and we also need to avoid cross-contamination between different cells.

Prevent Cell Culture Contamination

  • The newly obtained cells are first checked for contamination and tested for mycoplasma. If necessary, add antibiotics and mycoplasma removal reagents to the culture reagents to prevent contamination from the beginning and avoid wasting time later.
  • Regularly observe the medium’s condition and the cells’ growth, preferably every day
  • Especially when you have raised many kinds of cells, if you find that the cells are polluted, quickly dispose of them so as not to contaminate other cells.
  • Disinfection and sterilization of experimental supplies are very important. All operations must be aseptic as possible. All practical tools, workbenches, and even the operators themselves must be sterilized and cleaned before doing cell experiments.
  • To use disposable cell experiment consumables that have been sterilized as much as possible.
  • It is best not to share consumables with others, as long as there is a possibility of contamination, prepare them yourself.
  • It is inevitable to use public instruments, you can clean them with alcohol before use.
  • The sanitation in the cell room should be done carefully and fumigated regularly.
  • If other people in the same laboratory have contaminated cell culture problems, we should also quickly test whether our cells are healthy.
  • If you find that your own cells are contaminated, the best way is to disinfect them, discard all contaminated cells and media, and re-resuscitate.

The above is about common cell contamination and preventive measures, we hope it can be helpful to you. Our company provides high-quality, strictly sterilized cell culture products, such as cell culture plates, dishes, and flasks. If you need to buy them for your laboratory, Hawach will be a good choice.