Guidelines

Detailed below are the modified guidelines for Lurie Flow Core access, scheduling and utilization for the upcoming weeks/months.

We expect the following guidelines (and any future updated guidelines), to be followed by every user utilizing the Lurie Flow Core at all times. Please report any instances of non-compliance or concerns to flow core staff present and/or to the manager (suchitra-swaminathan@northwestern.edu). Any violations of these and University guidelines will be addressed accordingly and could result in loss of privileges and access to Flow Core.

PPE and Disinfection Procedures:

  • Masks are Mandatoryand should be worn at all times in all flow core labs and common areas (Evanston and Chicago). Please provide your own masks from your labs. 
  • Gloves are Mandatory at the Evanston Flow Facilityand Recommended at the Chicago Flow Facility. You must provide your own. If you are using gloves do not come to the facility wearing them.  You must put them on after you have entered the Flow room and remove them before you leave.
  • Please ensure that you are wiping down the instruments and computer peripherals with 70% ethanol prior to and after you use the instruments (ethanol bottles are placed near each instrument, please use a paper towel to spray and wipe down). This includes the keyboard, the mouse, the bench area, and any part of the instrument that you come into contact with.

Modified Core Operation Procedures:

  • There is a limit on how many people can be in a room at any given point. Signs with capacity for each room are located on the doors and must be followed at ALL times. If the room has reached capacity any unscheduled users will be asked to leave and make an appointment to return at a later time.
  • Only one user is allowed to be at an instrument at any given point. Groups of 2 or more will not be allowed. 
  • Consider using zoom from your phone if you need to consult with a lab member. 
  • If this cannot be achieved over the phone or Zoom; as a last resort exception, we will allow the staff/user to be present for 5-10 mins max. to help setup the template/gates; while trying to maintain 6’ distance] 
  • If a user needs to be present for the duration of entire sort, please contact the Flow Core Manager to for pre-approval (no exceptions). Approval will only be granted if there is a possibility to maintain 6’ distance at all times, while ensuring they are within the maximum limit of people for that room. 
Staff-Assisted SortsSelf-Sorts
 
The person to drop off and pick up samples should try to limit interaction with the staff as much as possible. Any specifics of the sort can be detailed in email or writing prior to the sort. 

As previously stated, only 1 user will be allowed on each instrument at a time.

If needed: when dropping off staff assisted cell sort samples, you can be present at 6’ distance for approximately 5 – 10 minutes or less max to set up gates/questions/ etc.; We are attempting to minimize the amount of individuals and interactions in the room. 

If a second user or staff needs to check and setup gates, Consider using zoom to consult. If this cannot be achieved and the second user needs to be present, it must be limited to 5-10 minutes max while trying to maintain a 6’ distance.
  • At current times, all staff assistance will be provided over the phone or via remote desktop assistance.  Please bring your cell phones to call the numbers posted on the instruments for support. 
  • All COVID related projects involving live/replicating infectious or potentially-infectious SARS-CoV-2 virus will be restricted to Chicago campus flow facility only. [Evanston campus flow instruments and labs are not setup for these types of COVID research.]. Specimen/Assays involving non-infectious, inactivated virus or components may be approved to be run on other instruments in Chicago/Evanston with prior approval from Lurie Flow Core Facility.
  • All COVID projects must be registered and approved in LUMEN, the University’s online safety data management tool. For all COVID related projects including self-run analysis samples, the registration should be completed by each PI and proof of approval sent to the Lurie Flow Core Manager and Director in consultation with the Office of Research and Safety (ORS). All COVID live cell sorting is to be staff-run until further notice.
  • All existing and new projects involving unfixed primary human specimen, that will be run on any flow instruments must be premised by a sample information sheet submitted to the flow core for our records. [Note: These are only for primary specimen collected from humans and excludes standard immortalized cell lines.]
  • All primary human specimen used for analysis must be fixed in 2% formaldehyde for at least 10 minutes at room temperature prior to running on analyzer instruments. No Exceptions.
  • All primary unfixed human specimen used for sorting must be run on a sorter in a biosafety cabinet. If the human samples are infectious or are COVID +, they must be scheduled and staff-run on the 5-laser ARIA in Olson #8-509. No Exceptions.
  • The cell sorter in Olson #8-509 has been designated for COVID research and is only to be used by flow core staff and authorized users. At no time can users enter this room without prior permission. If there are any other non-infectious sorts scheduled on this instrument, it will be staff-assisted only. Appropriate PPE must be donned in this lab during infectious specimen sort per ORS/IBC approved protocols. 
  • The processing room in Olson #8-527 is flow core staff access only. At no time can users enter this room without prior permission. Flow core staff processing infectious samples in the room are not allowed to leave until after they are finished. 

Additional Evanston Facility Summary: Evanston Flow Core instruments are situated in HTA lab space. In addition to the guidelines set above, all users must respect the additional guidelines set by both cores collaboratively. In short:

  • Masks and Gloves mandatory at All times.
  • Only 1 user max allowed per instrument.
  • Consider using zoom from your phone if you need to consult with a lab member. 
  • All staff assistance will be provided over the phone or via remote desktop assistance.  Please bring your cell phones to call the numbers posted on the instruments for support. 
  • In order to comply and maintain social distancing, staff will be present in Evanston Monday and Wednesday from 8am-12pm during this initial phase 1 and 2 of reopening (will be reassessed every 2-3 weeks). Other days will be per prior appointment only.
  • Staff schedules will be posted every 2 weeks. 

Few other general reminders:

  • Please continue to run 10% bleach followed by water for 5 minutes each, after running your samples to clean the instrument.
  • Please schedule adequate time to include cleaning and disinfecting the bench and computer peripherals. Please be mindful to not overrun your reserved time if there is an appointment immediately after you and if the user is waiting.
  • As always, please continue to check the schedule to see if you are the last user on the instrument. If you are the last user for the day on a particular instrument, it is your responsibility to shut down the instrument accordingly, and wipe down all surfaces as previously described.
  • All meetings requested with flow core will be over the phone or via zoom.
  • No cell analyzer or sorter training will be offered in this phase of reopening. This will be assessed in the next phase towards middle of July.
  • Flow Core instrument and service status will be updated on a continual basis on this website. 
  • The guidelines laid down here will also evolve and change based on experiences from initial phases and University directives. All modified guidelines will also be updated and posted on this website.

Last Updated: June 10, 2020