Unige iGEM 2019


Our aim is to create a toolbox to test components (drugs, Xenobiotics) and quantify different biological processes in a physiologically relevant cell culture. By mimicking physiological conditions, our goal is to improve the clinical relevance of in vivo drug tests and reduce animal experimentation. To achieve this aim, we used different cancer cell lines (breast cancer cells, liver cancer cells,…) that are not harmful for humans.

The main risk involved in the project was the use of lentiviruses to transform our different cell lines. Lentiviruses can infect human cells, but after transducing a cell, they can not reproduce themselves. They are replication-incompetent vectors. To avoid any risk of contamination or infection, they are handled under a dedicated laminar flow biohood for viruses, while wearing a labcoat and double pair of gloves. Glass pipettes that were contaminated with the lentiviruses were disinfected with fresh bleach and autoclaved. Plastic dishes that contained lentiviruses were discarded in a specific waste bin that was also autoclaved before being discarded.

The group safety advisor is Dr. Grégory Segala, who has been working with lentiviruses for several years and has been trained in good lab practices, has a good understanding of all the safety aspects of lentivirus manipulation.