Biomedical Engineering Tissue Culture Policies

The Department of Biomedical Engineering tissue culture facilities have three locations: B-6, 311, and 312 Hallowell. To distribute users between the facilities, it is requested that students/staff of Butler and basement labs use the facility in B6. Students and staff of Hancock and third floor labs should use 311 and 312.

This contract covers the privilege of using the pipettors, centrifuges, microscopes, laminar flow hoods, incubators, and all other equipment contained in the tissue culture facilities.


Before any equipment can be used, students and staff MUST be properly trained. This training must include sterile technique. The PI of each lab is responsible for providing training for all staff and students under his/her direction. Training is specific for each tissue culture facility. Therefore training from other labs or through course work does not satisfy the requirement for training.

In most instances training will entail observation of a certified experienced user by a new user, observation of new user by an experienced user with step-by-step instruction on sterile technique, followed by on more observational period.


Because of the nature of a shared facility, it is everyone's responsibility to know how to use and properly care for all the equipment. Contamination is an extreme concern for all users of the tissue culture facilities, therefore, if you are not sure how to handle items correctly and maintain sterility, please ask for additional training.

Code of Conduct

  1. Before using any equipment, you must be properly trained. See above for details (Training).
  2. Have a clear understanding of the operation and intended purpose for each piece of equipment.
  3. Instructions for all equipment are available upon request. If you have any doubts or question – ask for assistance before using equipment.
  4. Sign in and out when using the facility.
  5. Please respect others in the lab. This includes not using any cell phones in the area.
  6. Anyone working in an unsafe or improper manner will be asked to leave immediately and their privileges will be revoked. Because of biohazard concerns, food and drinks are prohibited.
  7. It is strictly prohibited to be in any biomedical engineering Tissue Culture facility while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Anyone found in the facility under the influence will have their access privileges permanently revoked.
  8. Please respect and preserve the facility. Clean up your own mess and replace all items to their proper place. See details above (Rules)
  9. Facility chores are shared on a weekly rotating basis. You must actively participate in performing these chores. See details above (Maintenance/Chores).
  10. Students may only use the facilities for items that are related to a course in which they are currently enrolled or involved with current faculty sponsored research.
  11. It is the responsibility of the principle investigator or course instructor to insure that all proper training courses have been taken and skills learned by students/staff.

Rules of Use

  1. Wear long-sleeved lab coat while working with incubators and under hood.
  2. Wear gloves and ethanol them often while working in the tissue culture facilities.
  3. Spray all things that will enter the hood.
  4. Turn off the gas when you are done - this is incredibly important as it poses a fire hazard.
  5. Turn off the vacuum when you are done – leaving the vacuum on can lead to the building wide vacuum pump breaking.
  6. Actively follow the schedule for taking care of garbage and other chores in the facility.
  7. Perform facility maintenance/chores as scheduled and as needed.

Facility Maintenance/Chores

Each lab is required to perform tissue culture maintenance and chores on a rotating weekly basis. When your lab is responsible for the chores, the following items are the responsibility of your lab:

  • Collecting, autoclaving, and disposing of biohazard waste.
  • Liquid biohazard waste clean up.
  • Refill of detergents at the sink.
  • Watch CO2 levels for the incubator.
  • Check water level of the water bath and clean if necessary.

Lab Coordinators

Each faculty member will assign a coordinator for the tissue culture usage. This person will be the contact for all requests/concerns/questions. They will be responsible for making sure chores are completed and other members of their lab are trained. Lab coordinators are also allowed to carry out training to new users.

Biomedical Engineering Tissue Culture Facility Regulations

For your protection and others around you, the following rules must be observed while working in the tissue culture facilities of the Department of Biomedical Engineering.

Signature Form

Before using the tissue culture facilities you must read, sign and have on file a copy of The Tissue Culture Regulations Form.



The Department of Biomedical Engineering administers the undergraduate major in biomedical engineering, and is a part of the university-wide Intercollege Graduate Degree Program, offering both M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Bioengineering. Our work combines traditional engineering principles with medicine and technology for the betterment of human health and society. 

Department of Biomedical Engineering

122 Chemical and Biomedical Engineering Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802-4400

Phone: 814-863-6614