Protein Purification Safety

In case of Emergency call the following number 08-934-2999

The following guidelines are general and do NOT replace the specific safety guidelines described in the instructions manual of instruments, and on the WIS safety unit web site (see links bellow):

  • All personnel should use basic laboratory protective gear. Where needed additional protective equipment should be used (see below).
  • In all cases a person working in the laboratory should wear long trousers, closed shoes, and a lab-coat.
  • Never operate an instrument that you did not use in the past without proper training.
  • When operating laboratory equipment, follow the safety signs (gloves, goggles, earphones), as well as the instruction card that is placed near the equipment.
  • Do NOT use an instrument if you suspect it is not functioning properly. Notify the protein purification unit personnel immediately!
  • If an instrument gets stuck, malfunctions, or breaks down, turn it off (when possible), apply a sign that describes the problem, and contact immediately one of protein purification unit personnel. Please don't leave the scene without informing us. The same holds when your materials get spilled/broken in any of the lab instruments (e.g. – shakers and sonicator).
  • The protein purification unit is considered a non-radioactive, BL1 laboratory – it is therefore prohibited to bring pathogens and/or radioactive materials into the unit. For a list of organisms please refer to the NIH guidelines.
  • It is prohibited to express infectivity factors including but not restricted to toxins, and virulence factors (see NIH guidelines )
  • It is prohibited to eat and drink in the laboratory: you should use either the kitchen or the office.
  • Wash your hands when you leave the lab, before eating or drinking, or have finished your daily work.
Chemicals and biological materials
  • When weighing harmful salts and chemicals use caution and the appropriate additional protective gear as needed (as described in their MSDS: e.g. - nitrile gloves, goggles and a mask).
  • It is prohibited to throw into the normal trash, liquid waste such as acids, bases, and flammables. Please dispose the different materials according to the WIS regulations (please refer to the WIS Chemical Safety web site
  • Solid biological waste such as agar plates with bacteria, and plates with antibiotics should be collected into a biohazard bag, and subjected to autoclaving before being disposed as normal waste.
  • Liquid biological waste (media) should be decontaminated using bleach (1:10), Sodium-hypochlorite (1:10) for half an hour before disposing in the sink. Iodine can be used to disinfect liquid waste as well, but it requires an incubation of 24 hrs. with a dilution according to manufacture recommendations. You must not mix Iodine with sodium hypochlorite.
  • In case of minor spills of chemicals or biological material try to contain the spill.
  • If possible seal the affected area to prevent people from spreading the spill: do not leave the area before the area is marked correctly, sealed and the spill is under control.
  • In case of a major spill inform and ask for assistance from the service center at X2999.
  • If somebody got injured, or in case you have any problem, contact the service center by dialing x2999, and don’t forget to report also the departmental office.
  • In case of an eye injury it is essential to wash the eyes immediately using an eye-washer installed in the lab’s sink. Any eye injury requires an eye physician check.
  • If the skin is contaminated immediately take the close off and extensively wash using the safety shower.
  • Chemical spills should be adsorbed using neutral material (e.g. – using vermiculite).
  • Biological spills should be collected into a biohazard bag and disposed in the designated biohazard collective bin.
  • Finally, for non-corrosive surfaces decontaminate the affected area using 1:10 diluted hypochlorite solution (if possible), followed by fresh water. Where possible one should use 70% ethanol for decontamination (depending on the suitability of 70% ethanol as disinfectant).
  • In case you are not sure how to clean or decontaminate the affected area consult with the safety unit personnel.
The use of Bunsen
  • Always turn off the bunsen when not in use. Minimize moving around with a working bunsen. The change of the Bunsen cylinder should be done in a chemical hood.
  • It is prohibited to use fire in the kitchen.
  • Avoid using gloves and other gear on your hands when working with open flame.
Sonicator and High Pressure homogenizer
  • When operating the sonicator always use earphones to protect your ears (it is even better combining earphones on top of ear plugs).
  • Operate only both instruments with goggles to protect your eyes.