I've accidentally touched pure glucose with my bare hands (fingers to be specific), which was intended for cell-culture.

I'm worried that bacteria from my skin may start to grow on the glucose and contaminate my animal-cell cultures.

Should I be worried about this really and get another glucose packet for it or just proceed to feed cells with that one?


1 Answer 1


Bacteria or other microorganisms cannot really grow on anhydrous (totally dry) glucose because they need water.

However, they can remain there and cause contamination. Even if you haven't actually touched the glucose sample, there are many bacteria suspended in the air and they may settle down in your glucose packet. When you take the glucose out for weighing, then also bacteria that are in the air, on your gloves, on the paper that you use for weighing, can settle on the glucose sample. In fact any substance, for that matter (salts in PBS, water etc).

That's why before using solutions in cell culture, you have to sterilize them by autoclaving or filtering. Glucose solutions should not be autoclaved because the heat chars glucose. You should filter them using a 0.2 micron filter. All the materials that are to be used for cell culture purposes should be opened only inside the laminar hood.

  • $\begingroup$ I wasn't aware of it ! Thank you very much !!! $\endgroup$
    – Cuba
    Commented May 6, 2016 at 10:48

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