Protocol Online logo
Top : New Forum Archives (2009-): : Tissue and Cell Culture

Treating glassware for tissue culture - (Mar/10/2009 )

Just curious about the best way to go about treating glassware used to propagate mammalian cell lines (i.e., media jars, etc.)?



I assume you are talking about media bottles, pipettes etc and that you do not intend to grow cells in glass flasks.

The glassware we use is reserved for cell culture only. It is never used for general lab use. Would you like your culture media to be in a bottle that has been used by someone else for phenol or organic solvents? It is VERY difficult to remove some chemical residues from plastic bottle tops (impossible if they have a rubber liner).

We only use borosilicate glass (like "pyrex"). It is fine to wash using a well maintained laboratory dishwasher and detergent recommended by the manufacturer. A final cycle with 2 dH2O rinses is OK.

We sterilize aluminum capped bottles, pasteur pipettes jars etc by hot air (160 oC, 180 mins), this avoids contamination by oils etc that are usually present in autoclave steam. Best to use lab-grade foil as some domestic brands may be plastic coated. Plastic caps which cannot tolerate 160 oC are sterilized by autoclaving.

People often worry about "detergent residues". In my experience this is never a problem with modern detergents designed for lab use. Chemical residues are quite another matter.

It is VERY IMPORTANT to show your appreciation to the lab assistant who washes your glassware. These unsung heros play a vital role in every cell culture experiment you do!


As mentioned before it is best to have a dedicated set of glassware, however, it is much easier to use disposable plasticware from BDFalcon or Corning.

You may need to treat the glassware with some attachment factors, depending on the cell line. These could include gelatin, poly-L-lysine, collagen, fibronectin, lamini etc.


Thank you so much,