Discoveries Magazine

Cedars-Sinai

How to Move a Lab

Moving labs to the Advanced Health Sciences Pavilion required strict planning and careful organization. Taking precious stem cell lines from one building to another is not quite like transporting your futon from your college dorm to your first apartment, but there are some striking similarities. Here’s how it’s done.
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1. Plan

Precisely map out the new lab’s setup and location of equipment and supplies. Researchers—who were alerted months in advance—plan to either complete experiments or freeze cell lines before the move.

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2. Assess Inventory

The new lab provides more shared space to optimize collaboration, so a comprehensive inventory of current supplies is taken to avoid duplication and maximize efficiency. The need for electrical, telecommunication, and specialty equipment is assessed; new equipment is ordered.
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3. Freeze and Stop

Investigators either complete their experiments or freeze them with liquid nitrogen to preserve cells lines for continued work in the new lab. If necessary, they receive incubator space to maintain live cell culture during the move.
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4. Pack and Go

Highly trained and specialized lab movers transport everything, from delicate experiments to expensive equipment.

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5. Unpack and Set Up for Safety

All precautions are taken, from decontaminating the previous labs to cleaning equipment prior to moving. Researchers run test experiments to identify any problems, and carbon-dioxide levels are adjusted to optimize the environment for cell growth and for experiments. Thorough inspections are conducted.

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