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HeLa in eyes after sonication? - (Feb/14/2014 )

So, I feel like an idiot right now ahahah.

 

I went to sonicate my HeLa cells in NP-40 lysis buffer and I didn't even think to put my goggles on. I naturally wear glasses, but I doubt that's enough protection... ANYWAY. As probably expected, some aerosols splashed onto my face/right under my eye during my last round of sonication. I'm not sure how much or if any got into my eyes.

 

If they got into my eyes, how dangerous would this be? Should I be seriously concerned? I'm not worried about them on my face or nose anything, but the eyes are pretty important. I rinsed everything with water afterwards, but I'm still pretty freaked out.

 

Obviously I will wear my goggles next time - I USUALLY DO!

 

Any help/reassurance is appreciated!

-gifttothecity-

Your immune system will kill the HeLa cells as "foreign". The NP-40 would be no worse than getting shampoo in your eyes. I wouldn't be too concerned about the HeLa cells. It would take more cells than what you encountered to make it past your bodies defenses. BE MORE CAREFUL!!

-jerryshelly1-

Thank you for your quick reply. Yes, I will definitely be wearing my goggles next time around. I was pretty shaken up - thought I had seriously increased my risk of cancer.

 

Out of curiosity, how many HeLa cells would you need to bypass the immune system? I feel like you'd either have to be immunodeficient or encounter a lot more than aerosols for the cells to survive your natural defences.

-gifttothecity-

Thank you for your quick reply. Yes, I will definitely be wearing my goggles next time around. I was pretty shaken up - thought I had seriously increased my risk of cancer.

 

Out of curiosity, how many HeLa cells would you need to bypass the immune system? I feel like you'd either have to be immunodeficient or encounter a lot more than aerosols for the cells to survive your natural defences.

How long is a piece of string?

 

The more cells you are exposed to, the stronger your immune reaction would be.  Swamping the immune system (e.g. like getting a bacterial infection) would be difficult.  Aerosols from sonicated stuff will also be entering your lungs and nasal passage.  You would need to be immunocompromized to have them infect you properly.  Though I suppose  a similar serotype (i.e. donor compatible) might be a small risk too.

-bob1-

 

Thank you for your quick reply. Yes, I will definitely be wearing my goggles next time around. I was pretty shaken up - thought I had seriously increased my risk of cancer.

 

Out of curiosity, how many HeLa cells would you need to bypass the immune system? I feel like you'd either have to be immunodeficient or encounter a lot more than aerosols for the cells to survive your natural defences.

How long is a piece of string?

 

The more cells you are exposed to, the stronger your immune reaction would be.  Swamping the immune system (e.g. like getting a bacterial infection) would be difficult.  Aerosols from sonicated stuff will also be entering your lungs and nasal passage.  You would need to be immunocompromized to have them infect you properly.  Though I suppose  a similar serotype (i.e. donor compatible) might be a small risk too.

 

Fair enough. Is it normal for sonicators to be out in the open as they do NATURALLY generate aerosols? I was under the impression they should be under a fumehood. I'm newish to the lab, by the way. Hence the paranoia about HeLa.

 

Here's hoping it's easier to get a bacterial infection than it is to get infected with an invasive cancer line...

-gifttothecity-

When you can some time, read this book "

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks,.

 

It is a really well written book and it talks about some of the more devious experiments they did with HeLa cells to "infect" people will cancer. Also kind of touches on the corporate side of academic research. Good solid read. 

-jerryshelly1-


Fair enough. Is it normal for sonicators to be out in the open as they do NATURALLY generate aerosols? I was under the impression they should be under a fumehood. I'm newish to the lab, by the way. Hence the paranoia about HeLa.

 

Here's hoping it's easier to get a bacterial infection than it is to get infected with an invasive cancer line...

 

Depends on the sonicator - most I have come across are in an enclosed  sound-proof box.  Though bath sonicators, like those used for cleaning glassware and jewellery are usually not so enclosed.

-bob1-