Lab Days

Lab coat > Shoe cover > Wash hands…

Gloves > Spray alcohol > Prepare biological safety cabinet > Spray alcohol > Perform cell passaging > Spray alcohol > Clean biological safety cabinet > Spray alcohol…

Haha… That is my train of thoughts whenever I am in my lab. After a short hiatus during the weeks leading to the performance, I am finally kick starting my final year project. Been practicing cell culturing, and more specifically “passaging”, the past few weeks. To the non-bioengineers, this is “the process of propagating microorganisms or cells in a series of host organisms or culture media, so as to maintain them or modify their virulence.” *Ahem* Okay, it’s something very new and foreign to me too. Hur hur~ I guess I’ve focused too much on bio-imaging and never expected myself to be doing something related to tissue culture for my FYP.

Fortunately my mentor is a very nice and patient guy. In fact my FYP professor is a very nice and patient lady too, and so are all the rest of my lab mates. I am very lucky to be in such a lab where people are so approachable. 😀

Back to passaging… I’ve done passaging for several times already and the process is getting smoother each time I do it. I still remember the strain in my shoulders after the first time I finished passaging. I must had been too nervous and forgot to relax my shoulders while my hands were in the safety cabinet. The cells given to me for practice are known as L929, or mouse fibroblast cells. They are rather hardy and multiply very fast; a suitable candidate for a newbie to practice on. The cells that I will be eventually working on will be HCE2, or human corneal epithelium cells. These, on the other hand, are weak and multiply painfully slow. I believe this is why my FYP professor remind me again and again to plan my experiment carefully ahead of time…

“Contamination” is a big disaster to happen to the cell cultures; especially when everyone’s cell culures live in the same incubator. This means that if one is careless and allow one’s cell culture to be contaminated, this means that everybody’s cell cultures in that incubtor would be infected. So not only your project gets affected. Everybody’s project gets it too. 😦 In the name of science and prevention of contamination, I don’t know how much tissue and alcohol I’ve used already. In fact, I was encouraged to spray alcohol on my hands as and when I can. Hur hur~

Okay… Shall end this post abruptly. Hopefully it’d be soon that I can start posting pictures of my HCE2 cells growing. I am starting to love this lab and this project of mine. And I hope this passion will only grow~

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7 thoughts on “Lab Days

  1. harloes fellow cell-speaker! you’re starting to cell-speak! 😀

    soon you’ll be throwing ard phrases like i can’t _____ cos ‘i’ve to passage my cells today’ (sub for ‘i’ve got dance today’) MUAHAHAHAHAHA… 😀

    aikkks i count cells so much tt the blue tables at Spin’s look like cells dyed in tryphan blue.. dead cells to be specific… horrors…

    jiayous for FYP!!! 😀

  2. GOSHHHH white rabbit’s my all time fav sweet!!! arghhhhs this is getting too ridiculous… we’d better start growing our own food instead of cells…

  3. hahhaa i can’t join the club since mine is human liver cells? anything similar to urs? need to incubate but i haven’t figure out how to prepare it

  4. Tryphan Blue~! Cell counting~! You are doing very well in cell-speak la~

    jwen: Is yours doing cell culture? It should involve some form of culturing right since the liver cells need to be incubated in the right environment and mixture of medium…

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