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How to Manage a Biotech Lab

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Presentation on theme: "How to Manage a Biotech Lab"— Presentation transcript:

1 How to Manage a Biotech Lab
Ellyn Daugherty SM Biotech Career Pathway

2 Setting up and Managing a Biotech Lab
Things to Consider: Lay-out/Workflow/Storage Lab Stations Common Work Areas Chemicals/Chemical Storage Refrigerator/Freezer Storage Student Sample Storage Waste Disposal Other Safety Issues Inventory/Ordering Other Issues

3 Facility Lay-out/Workflow/Storage
Student movement, bottle necks, & time constraints Set up at individual lab stations vs. common work areas Replicate work areas - avoid long waits and “long distance” Strategically placed tables, carts, deionized water, sinks Gas/Bunsen burner placement? Storage areas - immediate, store-term, and long-term

4 Lab Stations Students work at lab station in pairs (lab partners)
2 pairs at a lab station (lab table) A minimum on the lab table > 1 hot plate stirrer/lab station > 1 spectrophotometer/lab station > a trash bucket/lab station > 1 (serological) pipet rack/table > 1 micropipet stand/table > a box of gloves/table Strategic use of drawers and cabinets > Small instrument drawer (pipet pumps, micropipet tips, pen, tape, scissors, goggles, etc.) > Student storage drawer > Small equipment & reagent cabinet (gel boxes, power supplies, large volumes of buffer, etc.)

5 Common Work Areas In strategic locations – common work stations
> electronic & analytical weighing stations > pH meter/pH adjustment station > centrifuge station, UV spec station > refrigerators and freezers (mini-?) > gel staining and visualization station > incubation ovens, water baths, heat blocks, microwaves > deionized water (dH20) > autoclaves and drying ovens > supply tables/supply carts Hoods > Laminar flow hoods vs. bio-safety cabinets (for sterile work, protect user and samples) > Chemical fume hoods (for dispensing organics, caustics, flammables, noxious)

6 Chemicals & Chemical Storage
Chemical must be stored probably to protect user and reagents Chemical storeroom/chemical cabinet for “general safe” chemicals = green labels Flammables cabinet for alcohols, etc = red labels Oxidizers/corrosives cabinet for bases, acids, peroxides = yellow and white labels Toxics cabinet (locked) for EtBr = blue labels Chemical fume hood (built in or portable) Gloves (latex vs. nitrile) and goggles See for much more information on chemical safety

7 Refrigerator/Freezer Storage
Most samples are labeled with storage temp Virtually all protein, DNA, and cell samples must be stored at 4°C (refrig) or at -20°C (lab freezer) > Store lyophilized (powdered) protein or DNA samples at -20°C, unless otherwise labeled > Store protein samples alphabetically > Record the date on reagents upon arrival > Certain cell lines must be stored at -70°C or below or lose competence or viability Do not use frost-free refrigerator/freezers Repeated freezing/thawing compromises most samples (aliquot samples on receipt into more usable volumes) If possible, have designated refrigerators and freezers for different courses

8 Student Sample Storage
Room Temp Storage > chemicals, many buffers Refrigerator/Cooler (4°C) Storage > most protein or DNA student samples Freezer (-20°C) Storage > some protein or DNA student samples The more you can separate student samples the more time is saved > Consider separate lab refrigerators and freezers (4.0 cu ft models) or different shelves in large volume coolers or freezers

9 Waste Disposal Most districts have specific policies for waste disposal (find out about yours) Most hazardous waste must be collected and disposed of by professionals Need biohazard bags for biological hazards = plates (no sharp items) Autoclave bio-contaminated items psi before trash Bio-contaminated loops and tubes can be soaked in 10% bleach for 30 min before regular trash Many chemicals may not go down drain (see district rules), ie. CuSO4, silver nitrate, EtBr?, etc Label waste with type/concentration/date

10 Other Safety Issues Gloves and goggles at every lab station and workstation, for all chem work No gloves for work with Bunsen burner or microwave (burn hazard) Use hot hand protectors for hot bottles/beakers Disinfectants at each hood (1x Lysol® or Amphyl®), where bacteria is used Use of 10% bleach or 70% EtOH, where plant tissues are used Use of lid-locks for 1.7 mL tubes and hot heat blocks Safety shower, eyewash Broken glass cartons, fire extinguisher at several places

11 Inventory/Ordering Keep a record (Excel® spreadsheet with vendor, manufacturer, description, package size, part number, etc.) of all materials used and received. Use inventory sheets to help keep areas clean and organized Assign student groups the responsibility to maintain/inventory a particular area > Chem Stockroom A-G > Weigh Stations > “Darwin” Refrigerator > “Watson”, “Crick” Freezers Have inventory sheets at each lab station and require inventory sign-off at the beginning and end of class (Biotech Live Ch 3) Have a place that students can record when a “last bottle” is ½ full (use to amend orders) Build time into the schedule for inventory and lab station/workplace maintenance

12 Other Issues Computers – keep them away from chemicals and water
Not enough space – portable items? Alphabetized small items drawers or containers Cable-lock down balances, computers Designated hand-washing sinks? Lots of paper towels used Crushed ice needed/preferred Post emergency numbers Biotech teacher “in charge” of facility Keep getting professional development Network with other biotech educators and ask them questions (especially about new methods, techniques, equipment)

13 Get even more help! Ellyn Daugherty Amy Naum Holly Ahern
SM Biotech Career Pathway Amy Naum VWR Ed/Sargent Welch Holly Ahern VWR Ed/Sargent Welch

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