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Please help me take a look at my cells to see whether is it contaminated - (Mar/22/2013 )


I am a newbie in cell culture. Hence, I am rather freaked out when I see the cell - stroma HS5, seems weird under the microscope. Furthermore, there seems to be rather many cell debris floating. And there are contamination cases in my lab too, afraid that mine was also affected. Please help to take a look at the cells!


Very very worriedAttached Image


What do you mean by "seems weird"?

Based on your photograph, I don't think you have an usual amount of debris or cell death.

I'm not familiar with your cell type, but yours look to be about right compared with the ATCC image for this cell line


Based on that picture, I also can't see any contamination.The cells look OK to me. Did you notice anything else ? Unexpectedly fast colour change of the medium ? Cloudy/murky medium ?
A lot of cell debris can sometimes look like a contamination on first glance, but at greater magnification you can clearly distinguish between the debris particles and the fast-moving and-turning bacteria. Also, if you wairt a few hours it will become clear as bacteria grow exponentially !
Are your cells checked for mycoplasms, by the way ?


Dear CYJ,

From the photo I would agree with Leelee that there does not seem to be any contamination. However if you have a "phase contrast" cell culture microscope, this would give us a better look at both the cell morphology and background media content.

Some cells release alot of debris naturally for that cell line. Debris is easily distinguished from say bacterial contamination when you have experience looking down the micrscope.

Kindest regards

Uncle Rhombus