How to develop a standard operating procedure for sorting unfixed cells.Methods. 2012 Jul; 57(3):392-7.M
Written standard operating procedures (SOPs) are an important tool to assure that recurring tasks in a laboratory are performed in a consistent manner. When the procedure covered in the SOP involves a high-risk activity such as sorting unfixed cells using a jet-in-air sorter, safety elements are critical components of the document. The details on sort sample handling, sorter set-up, validation, operation, troubleshooting, and maintenance, personal protective equipment (PPE), and operator training, outlined in the SOP are to be based on careful risk assessment of the procedure. This review provides background information on the hazards associated with sorting of unfixed cells and the process used to arrive at the appropriate combination of facility design, instrument placement, safety equipment, and practices to be followed.