Aseptic technique

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Aseptic technique describes surgical and laboratory methods designed to prevent microorganisms from contaminating a biological tissue, cell culture, or patient. There are no set standards for aseptic technique, but the goal is the same whether in surgery or working with cells and tissues in a biology lab - keeping the subjects free of contaminating bacteria, viruses and fungi.

Aseptic techniques can range from simply wearing gloves and keeping the work environment clean to laminar flow hoods, germicidal lamps and autoclaving equipment.

Aseptic technique is necessary in a laboratory because cell and tissue samples have been isolated from the body's immune system. Tissues and growth media provide ideal places for microorganisms to grow if they are given a chance. In surgery, the patient's first line of defense against infection - the skin - has been compromised. Non-sterile surgical equipment or operating rooms will almost invariably lead to infection in the patient.

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