Testing the efficiency of aerosol containment during cell sorting.Curr Protoc Cytom. 2001 May; Chapter 3:Unit 3.3.CP
Production of droplets and microdroplets (aerosols) is part of the normal operation of a cell sorter. These aerosols may contain toxic, carcinogenic, or teratogenic fluorophores or known or unknown pathogens from viable biological specimens. Most newer models of commercially available instruments incorporate features designed to reduce the production of aerosols and prevent their release into the room. This unit presents two protocols for assessment of aerosol containment on jet-in-air flow sorters. In both procedures, lytic T4 bacteriophage is run through the instrument at high concentrations to tag aerosol droplets. The instrument is tested in normal operating mode and in simulated failure mode. Aerosols are detected by plaque formation on susceptible E. coli lawns. With the continuing increase in the sorting of viable human cells, it is vital for cytometrists to be aware of the potential dangers.