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Low concentration alcohol as an antimicrobial


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11 replies to this topic

#1 ChrisHarris

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Posted 07 August 2009 - 12:49 AM

OK folks, a bit of cowboy science here!

I'm looking to store a sizeable lump of tissue (a length of umbilical cord) at room temperature in saline for a few days and am looking at ways to stop bugs growing on it.

Antibiotics are out of the picture for various reasons, so I'm looking at low % alcohol as a possibility.

I did a quick trial using 7% IPA, and this seemed to be pretty effective at stopping bugs growing.

Obviously it isn't too healthy for tissue to be submerged in alcohol, but the cells I'm after are well buried in the tissue, so may well be OK.

I've done a quick Google and haven't found much (surprisingly!).

Does anyone have any thoughts or helpful links?

Cheers

Chris

#2 GeorgeWolff

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Posted 07 August 2009 - 05:06 PM

A few days and at frig temp - it might work. Any longer and you'll get growth.

#3 hobglobin

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Posted 08 August 2009 - 12:39 AM

What about low-concentrated benzalkonium chloride or a hypochlorite?
Only an idea, not sure about it.
One must presume that long and short arguments contribute to the same end. - Epicurus
...except casandra's that belong to the funniest, most interesting and imaginative (or over-imaginative?) ones, I suppose.

#4 GeorgeWolff

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Posted 08 August 2009 - 04:14 AM

Good idea - low temp and brief application make all these seems reasnable, esp as you're apparently looking to control growth rather than sterilize.

#5 bob1

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Posted 09 August 2009 - 04:33 PM

What are the cells to be used for in the end? If you are trying to keep them alive, none of the above will work.

How about wiping in iodine solution a few times and then rinsing in sterile saline and then transferring to sterile pot containing sterile saline?

#6 ChrisHarris

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Posted 10 August 2009 - 12:48 AM

Just to clarify, the application is to find a way of getting cords from the hospital to me with minumum/no growth.

This can take a couple of days, is at room temp, and I can't rely on the cord being effectively cleaned at the point of sampling - the delivery room staff are generally very busy and distracted.

#7 GeorgeWolff

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Posted 10 August 2009 - 02:28 AM

To bob's question - what is the application? That will certainly affect whatcan be effectively used.

#8 ChrisHarris

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Posted 11 August 2009 - 01:35 AM

To bob's question - what is the application? That will certainly affect whatcan be effectively used.


I want to get the mesenchymal stem cells out of them. These are buried well inside the tissue, so I'm hoping that any alcohol related damage would be more confined to the surface layer of the tissue.
Cheers
Chris

#9 bob1

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Posted 12 August 2009 - 04:23 PM

Alcohol has been used to preserve tissues/organisms for a long time (allegedly Lord Nelson was shipped back to the UK after being killed in the battle of Trafalgar (1805) packaged in a barrel of rum), I think it will permeate the tissue and kill anything there, though they might survive low % for a few hours. Your best bet will be sterile Ringer's buffer, saline, or PBS and a bit of cleaning beforehand.

#10 GeorgeWolff

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Posted 13 August 2009 - 02:06 PM

Disagree. Room temperature for days of tissue not cleaned is going to offer a very good growth medium. If growth is a concern - you'd be advised to try the treatments mentioined and see which if any work.

#11 hobglobin

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Posted 16 August 2009 - 09:08 AM

And what about another idea I just had in mind. Lower the pH a bit to inhibit fungal growth (e.g. 5.5 as on skin) and/or adding lysozyme against at least some bacteria? Don't know if lysozyme works at that pH, but perhaps worth a try??
One must presume that long and short arguments contribute to the same end. - Epicurus
...except casandra's that belong to the funniest, most interesting and imaginative (or over-imaginative?) ones, I suppose.

#12 klinmed

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Posted 16 August 2009 - 10:38 AM

OK folks, a bit of cowboy science here!

I'm looking to store a sizeable lump of tissue (a length of umbilical cord) at room temperature in saline for a few days and am looking at ways to stop bugs growing on it.

Antibiotics are out of the picture for various reasons, so I'm looking at low % alcohol as a possibility.

I did a quick trial using 7% IPA, and this seemed to be pretty effective at stopping bugs growing.

Obviously it isn't too healthy for tissue to be submerged in alcohol, but the cells I'm after are well buried in the tissue, so may well be OK.

I've done a quick Google and haven't found much (surprisingly!).

Does anyone have any thoughts or helpful links?

Cheers

Chris


If you want viable cells alcohol (even low concs) is probably not a good idea.

Your material will be reasonably contaminated. I would suggest a very broad spectrum antibiotic combo plus an antimycotic.

A good mix is imipenem/gentamycin/flucytosine (12/50/10 ug/ml). You can use iv drug preparations of each. Imipenem is marketed as a combination with an enzyme inhibitor (Imipenem/cilastatin) (drug name: tienam or primaxim) and flucytosine as ancobon. Gentamycin is a generic drug.

The combo is not cytotoxic and should be fine for your purposes. (it has been used experimentally to decontaminate allografts (eg donor kidney).

Amphotericin B can be substituted fof flucytosine, but is more cytotoxic.

Hope this helps




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