Aeresolization of Biohazardous Material

Gerhard Nebe-von-Caron Gerhard.Nebe-von-Caron at
Fri Feb 14 09:25:02 EST 1997

          I remember a note in the back of my mind that somebody used 
          "in flow fixation" by adding a fixative in the sheath.

          I have now sorted bacteria for some years using an Coulter 
          Elite and an Autoclone and unless the sorter blocks or you 
          do not hit the groove of the waist connector, the bacteria 
          always grow on the expected plate position. I never start 
          sorting bugs prior to proper system adjustment anyhow and 
          since I use a 50u in line sample filter I haven't had a 
          clogging any more.

          Otherwise see the two articles below

          Gerhard Nebe-v.Caron
          Unilever Research, Colworth,
          Sharnbrook, Bedfordshire
          GB - MK44 1LQ
          Tel:    +44(0)1234-222066
          FAX:    +44(0)1234-222344
          gerhard.nebe-von-caron at     

Title:  Cell sorting of biohazardous specimens for assay of immune function.    
Author: Giorgi-J-V.
Source: Methods-Cell-Biol 1994, VOL: 42 Pt B, P: 359-69, ISSN: 0091-679X. 
1994.--- 144 ---   
Year:   1994.--- 144 ---

Company:        Department of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles 
School of Medicine 90024. 

Title:  Assessment of aerosol containment on the ELITE flow cytometer.  
Author: Ferbas J; Chadwick K R; Logar A; Patterson A E; Gilpin R W; Margolick J 
Source: Cytometry 1995 Mar 15, VOL: 22 (1), P: 45-7,
Company:        Department of Infectious Diseases and Microbiology, Graduate 
School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. 

Biohazardous aerosols generated during cell sorting have been of increased 
concern recently because of interest in sorting specimens containing human 
immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV 1). Current flow cytometers have features 
designed to contain such aerosols within the sorting chamber, but the efficacy 
of these features has not been established. Therefore, we tested aerosol 
containment by two ELITE flow cytometers (Coulter Cytometry, Inc., Hialeah, FL) 
during sorting of specimens containing high titers of bacteriophage. Agar plates
confluent with susceptible Escherichia coli were used to detect infectious units
released from the sorting chamber. Under recommended operating conditions very 
few infectious units were released from the sorting chambers. Release increased 
when the center stream was not optimally collected in a vacuum exhausted tube or
the chamber door was not completely closed. Failure of the negative pressure and
high efficiency particle air (HEPA) filtration features had less of an effect. 
The data indicate that these standard safety features provide a rational
expectation of safety for the flow cytometry operator. Author.

______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: Aeresolization of Biohazardous Material
Author:  radcliga at at INTERNET
Date:    14/02/97 01:23

Dear Flow Communinity:

How are people (especially the sorter folks) addressing the issue
of acquiring/sorting biohazardous material which has the potential
for aeresolizing.  Are these facilities restricted or confined
strictly within a P-3 facility.  I am concerned that general
percautionary measures are not sufficient to address this issue.

Please respond.  Thank you in advance!

Gilbert Radcliff
Basic Science Research Coordinator
Core Facility for Flow Cytometry and Cell Sorting
H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute at the
University of South Florida
12902 Magnolia Drive
Tampa, Florida  33612   USA

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