Eliminating Fungal Contamination

Heidi Engelhardt engelhah at wright.aps.uoguelph.ca
Wed Jun 5 07:46:50 EST 1996

surgical residence (surglab1 at is.rvh.mcgill.ca) wrote:
> Hi  there.

> We're a cellular immunology lab with a pile of 24-well cell culture
> plates that, we believe, have become contaminated with some kind of
> fungal spore (Hint for the rest of the world: Try not to get a lab
> with a leaky ceiling). The plates are past their one-year sterility
> guarantee, so sending them back to the company is not an option.

> Is it possible to eliminate the contamination by nuking the plates in
> a microwave oven? If so, for how long and at what power level?

I'm no expert in this, but I would far sooner use UV, gas or irradiation
than microwaving, both in terms of not wrecking the plastic and
actually sterilizing them.  I would think any hospital would have
the equipment for this.

Are you absolutely sure it is the plates rather than your medium, 
cells, water in your incubator, etc?  I would think that sterile-
wrapped culture plates should be sterile much longer than a year?

Good luck!

H. Engelhardt
hengel at aps.uoguelph.ca

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