The Effectiveness of HEPA Filters on DNA-Poster
Objectives: Most laboratory techniques utilize biosafety cabinets (BSCs) in order to provide contamination control of the experiments. BSCs depend on airflow and HEPA filters to remove aerosols and particulates from the environment. Aerosols may be created constantly by common lab practices, such as centrifugation, pipetting, and opening tubes. The main principals of HEPA filtration demonstrate that these airborne contaminants are captured and remain adhered by cohesive forces on the fibers of the filter, effectively removing them from the airstream. HEPA filters are very effective at removing various sized particles, but do not prevent gasses and vapors from penetrating through them. At some particular size of particle, HEPA filters will not be effective in their removal. It has been speculated that DNA may not be captured by HEPA filters, allowing for contamination of subsequent experiments by aerosolized DNA. Here we propose to: 1. Determine if DNA is captured by a HEPA filter. 2. Discover if DNA can be dislodged from a HEPA filter. 3. Discern whether Type A2 BSCs will prevent DNA contamination.