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Cancer cell culture exploded onto my face


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#1 Buffonidae

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Posted 16 March 2009 - 09:22 AM

I have no doubt that this is one of the more foolish questions asked on this forum, but this is what happened to me:


I had gotten about 5ml (~5,000,000 cells/ml) of live L1210 (a mouse lymphocytic leukemia cell line I bought from ATCC) into a syringe and was in the process of trying to pass it through a filter when the syringe exploded and much of the cell solution got on my face. I washed my face immediately, and thought little of it at the time, but it's been nagging me since it happened. I know that as I have a fully-functioning immune system, even if any cells got onto me or into my bloodstream, they should be recognized as foreign and automatically destroyed, and further more, that all cells in culture are very delicate in the first place and that's why we need apply aseptic technique and keep them well fed at all times; But, again, it's been nagging at me.

My question is: if this cell solution got into my pores, soft mucosal tissue (mouth, nose, etc), or bloodstream, should I consider myself in any danger, i.e. can these cells survive in/on my body?

While funny/derisive comments are no doubt inevitable, I would appreciate some of the constructive kind :unsure: .

Thank you,

--Buffonidae

#2 pcrman

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Posted 16 March 2009 - 09:47 AM

The cells themselves may not cause any harm to your body but if they are contaminated or infected by virus, then it may be hazardous to your health. Anyway you should contact your school's bio-safety advisor immediately to seek for further advice.

#3 Dr Teeth

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Posted 16 March 2009 - 12:25 PM

The cells themselves may not cause any harm to your body but if they are contaminated or infected by virus, then it may be hazardous to your health. Anyway you should contact your school's bio-safety advisor immediately to seek for further advice.


Given that they were mouse cells rather than human/monkey, you should be even less worried.

Science is simply common sense at its best that is rigidly accurate in observation and merciless to fallacy in logic.
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#4 rkay447

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Posted 16 March 2009 - 01:54 PM

I actually remember an almost identical post a few months back. It was more of the vial exploding from liquid nitrogen but either way, it's the same result. I wouldn't be too worried about the cells if I were you. Unless the culture was treated with drugs or a virus you really don't have anything to worry about.

#5 bob1

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Posted 16 March 2009 - 03:52 PM

I would only be worried about contamination of a secondary nature, such as potential contamination from mycoplasma or a virus growing on/in the cells.

Your body should reject the mouse cells pretty quickly.

Make sure you write up an incident form and submit it to your biological-safety officer.

#6 vaccinator

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Posted 13 April 2009 - 12:14 PM

Actually, a similar thing happend to me two years ago. I was using a mouse tumor cell line and for some reason the needle popped off the syringe containing the cells as I was injecting them. Some splashed in my eye, and I rinsed it out right away. I was still worried for a while, but as I said that happend two years ago and I'm still OK!

#7 TTT

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Posted 26 May 2010 - 10:07 AM

The cells themselves may not cause any harm to your body but if they are contaminated or infected by virus, then it may be hazardous to your health. Anyway you should contact your school's bio-safety advisor immediately to seek for further advice.


Given that they were mouse cells rather than human/monkey, you should be even less worried.



I've got similar question, what happens if its human cancer cell line like MCF-7 or HT29 cells? Should I be worried if the cells got into my eyes?

#8 bob1

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Posted 26 May 2010 - 04:17 PM

So long as you have a functioning immune system, you should be fine. However, if you have got some in your eye you should go and see a doctor to be on the safe side - after all these are very aggressive cancer cells and the eye is quite susceptible to infection.

#9 Prep!

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Posted 26 May 2010 - 09:08 PM

oh take care people!!! :)
Support bacteria - They are the only culture some people have!!!
Cheers!!!




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