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Biosafety at the Flow Cytometry Core Lab

Cell sorting experiments on material requiring BSL2 or greater, incluing human or non-human primate cells or cell lines must be scheduled for sorting in a biosafety cabinet, currently: the C Aria, 2Aria, Aria Fusion, Melody, Sony SH800, or our BSL3 facility. These policies are in accordance with our Institutional Biosafety Committee and Environmental Health and Safety specifications and are for the safety of the staff and any investigators who may be in the facility. All unfixed human or non-human primate samples submitted to the Flow Cytometry Core for analysis must be scheduled in advance identifying the source of the sample as well as all potential biohazards.

  • These samples MUST be capped (not with a filter cap!), and have secondary containment such as a sealable plastic carrier for transport.

Our Sort Sample Request Form must be filled out and presented at least two days prior to all sorts. IBC Docket numbers are required on all sorts that are BSL-2 or higher and a Flow Sorting Addendum must be filed with your IBC protocol. This addendum can be found at the IBC website under Registration and Approval.  If unfixed human or primate samples are brought to the Core lab without advance scheduling or the required paperwork they will not be run.

Some Example Biosafety Levels: The Biosafety Level assigned for Flow Sorting is often higher than that of bench work because sorting generates aerosols that can be inhaled. The current guidelines from the IBC are that all human cells, cell lines and humanized mice, infected or uninfected, screened or unscreened, are to be sorted under BSL-2-enhanced (BSL-2+) conditions. Mouse or other non-primate cells infected with lentivirus can be sorted as BSL-2 only if documented as replication-defective (usually generation 3 lentivirus). All projects that involve human or non-human primate cells, and/or known infectious agents or recombinant or synthetic nucleic acids must be evaluated by the IBC by submitting a Flow Sorting Addendum. Only the IBC can determine the biosafety level of your experiment.  

Further information can be found at the ISAC website: