Detecting the undetectable.
Mycoplasmas are a common contaminant of cell cultures. Using our 0.1μm membrane is your best assurance that mycoplasma will not be introduced into your cultures by serum or serum-containing media.
Mycoplasma is a very small type of bacterium characterized by its lack of a rigid cell wall. The cell wall deficiency results in organisms that have a characteristic elasticity allowing them to form a variety of different shapes ranging from spheres to branched filaments, and sizes varying from 0.3-0.8μm in diameter. This elasticity allows mycoplasma to pass through 0.2μm (bacterial retentive) filters. In addition, the mycoplasma’s lack of cell wall causes it to be resistant to certain antibiotics, such as penicillin, which interfere with bacterial call wall synthesis.
Why should we be concerned with mycoplasma?
Mycoplasmas are a common contaminant of cell cultures. Because of their extremely small size and slow growth rate, the contamination is not readily discernable by routine laboratory methods. Mycoplasmas, however, can have an insidious effect on any cell cultures they infect. Cultures containing one million mammalian cells, for example , may be infected with as many as five hundred million mycoplasmas. The presence of such a large number of contaminants can have drastic effects on the structure and function of the infected host cells:
These potentially negative effects of mycoplasma contamination on cultured cells make it clear that any data derived from mycoplasma infected cell cultures are of questionable accuracy and should be treated with caution and suspicion.
If not 0.2μm, then which pore size will effectively remove mycoplasma?
Mycoplasma can be retained by filtration with 0.1μm filters. We manufacture 0.1μm Supor® membrane, an inherently hydrophilic polyethersulfone membrane, that is retentive of mycoplasma. We incorporate this membrane into many laboratory filter products ideal for tissue and culture applications.
Using our Acrodisc® Syringe Filters with Supor® Membrane (0.1μm membrane) is your best assurance that mycoplasma will not be introduced into your cultures by serum or serum-containing media.