Electroporation cuvettes

Kevin Mulcahy K.Mulcahy at sheffield.ac.uk
Mon Nov 18 03:39:36 EST 1996

Dear Cristina,

I asked the same question last week and got some useful replies both via 
the newsgroup and via email. Here are the replies:

Matthias Vogel wrote:

"I always reuse my electroporation cuvettes for now more than two 
years without contamination problems.
After transfection I soak the cuvettes in Water with washing-up 
liquid overnight. Then I clean them with pipe cleaners and rinse 
them thoroughly with a hard jet of water (deionized). Then I put them 
in 70% EtOH overnight.
Before using dry the cuvetts upside down in a sterile bench."

Eric Anderson wrote:

"this is another one of those "search the archives" type questions.  there
are a bunch of different ways to clean electroporation cuvettes (probably
almost as many cleaning methods as there are investigators who can't
afford to just throw them out).  even within our lab of 10 people there
are ~ 4 different methods.  here are some basic do's and don'ts.


- get them in mQH2O asap after you finish using them.
- rinse them 4-20 times (different strokes for different levels of
paranoia) with mQH2O.
- rinse with either 70% or 95% EtOH (we usually use 70% then a couple more
water washes then another 70% followed by a 95% to dry them)

Do Not:

- use bleach.
- autoclave.
- wait more than overnight to clean them completely after your
experiment.  i prefer that they get cleaned immediately after the
experiment but a couple of lazy students in this lab seem to get away with
letting them go overnight in 70% EtOH.

as for sterilizing, we just stick them in a Stratalinker standing up and
set the power to 5000.  in my old lab we used to put them on the UV
lightbox for 15 minutes."

Dominic Voon wrote:

" We too do a lot of electroporation. We use the BIORAD GenePulser
set-up, it wasn't long before we find that at $3 a pop these cuvettes
will cause major budget blow-out. We actually read off the discussions
in this newsgroup that one could wash a used cuvette thoroughly in
distilled water (to get rid of the salt) and submerge it in 70% EtOH till 
the next time (I dry them in a sterile hood till I am ready to put the cell 
suspension in them). We have since been doing it with no apparent problem. 
Give it a try - there are more paranoia ways of going about it, but we find 
that this method is good enough."

John Watson wrote:

"In my old lab we would always re-use electroporation cuvettes.  Washing 
was done in water, distilled water, and finally 70% ethanol.  I would 
sterilize prior to re-use by UV irradiation.  Note that cuvettes cannot be 
reused indefinitely -- eventually they will arc and that will be the end of 

Hope these messages help.

Best wishes,


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