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Rising to the challenge: Overcoming Shared Resource Laboratory biosafety challenges during a pandemic.

  • Aspland, Avrill M1
  • Douagi, Iyadh2
  • Filby, Andrew3
  • Jellison, Evan R4
  • Martinez, Lola5
  • Shinko, Diana1
  • Smith, Adrian L1
  • Tang, Vera A6
  • Thornton, Sherry7
  • 1 Sydney Cytometry Core Research Facility, Centenary Institute, The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia. , (Australia)
  • 2 Flow Cytometry Section, Research Technologies Branch, NIAID, NIH, Bethesda, MD, USA.
  • 3 Innovation, Methodology and Application Research Theme, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.
  • 4 Department of Immunology, UCONN School of Medicine, Farmington, CT, USA.
  • 5 Biotechnology Programme, Flow Cytometry Core Unit, Spanish National Cancer Research Center (CNIO), Madrid, Spain. , (Spain)
  • 6 Faculty of Medicine, Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology, and Immunology, Flow Cytometry and Virometry Core Facility, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada. , (Canada)
  • 7 Division of Rheumatology, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Department of Pediatrics, University of Cincinnati Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH.
Published Article
Cytometry Part A
Wiley (John Wiley & Sons)
Publication Date
Dec 02, 2020
DOI: 10.1002/cyto.a.24280
PMID: 33289290


Biosafety has always been an important aspect of daily work in any research institution, particularly for cytometry Shared Resources Laboratories (SRLs). SRLs are common-use spaces that facilitate the sharing of knowledge, expertise, and ideas. This sharing, inescapably involves contact and interaction of all those within this working environment on a daily basis. The current pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 has prompted the re-evaluation of many policies governing the operations of SRLs. Here we identify and review the unique challenges SRLs face in maintaining biosafety standards, highlighting the potential risks associated with not only cytometry instrumentation and samples, but also the people working with them. We propose possible solutions to safety issues raised by the COVID-19 pandemic and provide tools for facilities to adapt to evolving guidelines and future challenges. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

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