Skip to main content


The Flow Cytometry Core is a BSL-2 Facility, and subject to the rules, regulations, guidelines that apply to the use of biohazardous materials in the research lab. As a multi-use facility, that makes it even more important to ask all investigators to review and comply with the Biosafety requirements of the University.

Environmental Health and Safety link for lab safety training

University biosafety regulations can be found here:

If you have any specific questions or concerns regarding biosafety in the flow core please address them with Matt Cochran. If you have more general questions please contact the Lab Safety Unit at x5-2402. You can also contact the Institute Biosafety Officer, Sonia Rosenberger at x5-3014 or email her

The Flow Cytometry Facility operates under specific guidelines that have been approved and are reviewed on a regular basis by the IBC. These guidelines can be found at:

Transport of Samples

Transport of BSL-2 samples through the University must be done in a secondary container that has a secure lid. The outer container must have biohazard labels on it. Transportation in Styrofoam boxes, for example, is unacceptable.

Since the FCC staff or anyone you might encounter, does not know if you have
BSL-2 level material, ALL samples coming to the flow core must be transported in secondary containment.

Failure to transport samples safely will result in a warning, and repeated offences will result in access to the FCC being revoked until a review of appropriate procedures with the FCC director is completed.

Working in the Core

All computer keyboards are washable. These can be wiped down with bleach, but remember there is a 10 minute recommended contact time when using bleach. If there is a large liquid spill, it must have a contact time of at least 30 minutes with bleach.

Appropriate PPE include gloves, lab coat, eye protection and closed toe shoes.

Gloves are available in all the FCC labs.

Decontamination of Spills

Please follow the following steps:

  1. Did you cut yourself during the spill, or splash uncovered skin (was this skin broken or abraded?)? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, you will need PROMPT medical attention (wash your skin & contact UHS at x5-1164).
  2. If you are unable to clean up the spill (i.e., alone or injured), call Security at x13. Security will contact EH&S for cleanup. Remain available to provide Security and EH&S with information.
  3. Close the lab door, notify other laboratory members of spill and ask them to leave the immediate area. Post a sign on the access door to this area indicating that there is a biohazardous spill and people should stay out of the area.
  4. Put on protective clothing. Wear double gloves, a lab coat and face shield. Make sure all exposed skin is covered – Protect Yourself. Get some red biohazard bags.
  5. Pick out any broken glass or sharps objects with tongs or forceps. Discard these sharp items in a sharps shelter labeled with a biohazard sign.
  6. Place Disinfectant-soaked paper towels over the spill. Then carefully pour 10% bleach over the towels and leave it to stand for 30 minutes. Discard the towels into the red biohazard bag & clean area repeatedly with disinfectant.


  1. File an incident report: Online form at UR Employee Incident Report Form
  2. Consult University Health Services (x5-1164) concerning the incident and possible exposure. Do NOT DELAY in seeking medical attention in the event you cut yourself or exposed broken skin.


  1. Call University Health Services for medical attention (x5-1164). There is a hotline information tape.
  2. Call your PI and Tim at 690-5157 or Matt at 350-9103

IBC Statements

When filling out IBC lab registration, please indicate the following:

Flow Cytometry Analysis: Analysis is performed in the Flow Cytometry Core (3-4100 area) under BSL-2 conditions. The FCC is an approved BSL-2 laboratory.

Flow Cytometry Sorting: Cell sorting is performed on the Flow Cytometry Core’s FACSAria cell sorters, which have several engineering controls in place to contain and control aerosols. These include the Aerosol Management System (AMO) and a BioProtect-III containment hood.