Training of scientists is the most important factor
Reliable, accurate operating procedures are extremely important, especially when working with cell cultures - and this applies even more so under the tough conditions of a maximum safety laboratory (Webinar Protect Your Cells with Proper Pipetting) . A challenge faced by any cell culturist is the contamination of cell cultures. But for researchers who work with the most dangerous and scarce specimens, it is most crucial to minimize this problem with care, mindfulness, and good aseptic techniques, supported by the right choice of equipment, which can make a huge difference in your daily workflow (Webinar Preventing Contamination in Cell Culture Labs)
. In order to prevent cross-contamination and to save extremely valuable lab-time, the researchers arrange the required pipettes and consumables in method-specific sets.
As vision is impaired by two to three layers of protection (individual glasses, protective visor, and the glass pane of the clean bench) the tips for multichannel pipettes should be as high-contrast as possible, explains Dr. Toni Rieger, BioRisk Manager at the BNI: “This is a very important issue for us. To make sure not to miss the correct well, we work perhaps even more carefully and more slowly with the agents in the BSL-4 laboratory than we would perform similar tasks in level 1 or 2 laboratories. And, especially with multichannel pipettes, we have to make sure that all tips are fitted correctly and absorb equal volume. We have to keep a good eye on them and take regular breaks, so that our eyes and concentration don’t get weary.”
And it is not only the eyes that tire quickly under these conditions: working in a protective PVC suit with three pairs of tight-fitting Nitrile gloves on top of each other is much more physically strenuous than in a normal laboratory. This is especially hard on the hands when pipetting over an extended period of time. So, if available, pipetting robots and automation can relieve many issues – from working conditions to sample safety.