Getting the right samples is crucial to all lab experiments and tests. Without the right ways of collecting samples, the obtained data can deliver skewed results. There are two ways to have the right samples- the expertise of the technician and using the right equipment.
Some tests are fairly simple and have standard procedures that need to be followed. Others require due diligence and top-quality equipment. One such lab equipment that’s crucial is the Petri dish. In this article, we shall try and explore everything about Petri dishes in microbiology.
What are they, what’s their importance, and what are some ways that Petri dishes are used in a lab?
What’s a petri dish?
Petri dishes are commonly used to study microorganisms in laboratories. It’s a shallow round glass that’s cylindrical in shape, particularly important to growing cultures of cells, viruses, bacteria, and other microorganisms.
These dishes can also have other uses, such as evaporating liquids to get the residue. Sometimes even to experiment with what gets left behind after evaporating certain liquids.
While there surely are different uses for this apparatus, you need to have top-quality dishes to avoid contamination of the sample. Now that we understand what a petri dish is, here are a few ways that it is used in the labs:
Amongst the most common uses of the petri dish is to use it for growing culture. What this means is that a small number of microorganisms are placed on the dish and then left there to grow. This is for microbiologists to find out how the organisms grow and react in various situations.
Once the culture is studied, researchers can then take suitable actions. In recent times, we can see that researchers are testing the viruses and then coming up with answers as to how the Coronavirus behaves and what can be done about it.
Analyzing components of different substances
Knowing more about our environment, food, and nature is essential. Petri dishes play an important role in allowing us to know about all these things. For instance, you can get a food substance checked from the lab and see all the nutrients it has to offer.
You may even want to know more about a certain plant or microorganisms on the plant and get the information extracted. Only with the help of Petri dishes because that’s where the samples get tested.
Petri dishes are an important component of medical labs. One prime purpose where they are used is to analyze samples and detect any diseases a person might have. For instance, blood samples are collected and assessed on these dishes. Urinary samples are also analyzed here to see if a person’s urinary tract is healthy or do they have any UTI.
Feasibility of using the Petri dishes
Petri dishes are fairly easy to use. They are reusable, and the good quality ones can last for a long time. However, you need to ensure that they are sterilized properly before using them for other purposes.
At times, scientists and researchers may test harmful bacteria and viruses on these dishes. Even the smallest residue of these organisms can contaminate your next sample. Ensure that you follow the right procedures to clean the dishes.
Why Use Petri Dishes in a Laboratory?
The Petri Dish is a tool most often associated with laboratories in biology and chemistry. Its primary purpose is to provide storage space and allow for easy observation of cell cultures. The dish’s transparency makes it simple to monitor microorganism growth stages without transferring onto a microscopic plate.
Additionally, Petri dishes are used at an introductory level in schools and colleges for activities such as observing seed germination.
Types of Petri Dish
There are two types of Petri Dishes commonly used in biological labs as follows:
1. Glass Petri Dishes
Glass lab ware that can be sterilized in a laboratory oven or autoclave is Glass Petri Dishes. This type of Dish can be reusable. The purpose of this Dish is used for items that are designed to withstand re-sterilization and multiple washing. Quartz and Borosilicate glasses glass offer high resistance to thermal shock.
2. Plastic Petri Dishes
Plastic Petri Dishes are an excellent choice for lab operations where there is the issue of cross-contamination. Petri dishes are made of transparent plastics or borosilicate glass (usually polycarbonate or polystyrene) and have multiple sizes. These dishes are reusable or disposable. Reusable types can withstand repeated sterilization processes, either wet or dry.
How to use Petri dishes effectively in a laboratory?
There are some ways to use the Petri dishes effectively, as follows:
1. Use Bleach to Keep Clean and Unsoiled
It is essential to ensure that the Peter Dish is entirely clean and does not contain any microparticles before using it; otherwise, it can affect the experimentation. To confirm this, treat every usable Dish with bleach and sterilize and disinfect it for future use.
2. Fill the Dish with Agar Medium
Fill the Dish with Agar medium, prepared with red algae help to perceive the bacteria growth. Agar medium contains salt, nutrients, blood, antibiotics, indicators, etc. These ingredients help in microorganism growth.
3. Store the Petri Dishes in the Refrigerator and Remove them when Need
Now store the petri dish in the fridge or refrigerator upside-down position. When there is a need for culture plates, remove them from the fridge or refrigerator, and when they return to their average temperature, use them.
4. Slowly Pour on the Culture or Use a Cotton Swab
Moving forward, take a bacteria sample or any other microorganism and gradually pour it into the culture. In a zigzag manner, use a cotton swab to apply the sample to the culture. Ensure not to apply extreme pressure as this allows to break the culture.
5. Finally, Close the Dish with the lid.
Once done with the process, close the Petri dish using a lid and cover it appropriately. Ensure to store under approx. 37 centigrade for a few days and allow it to grow. After a few days, the sample will be ready for further study or analysis.
A Petri dish is an important lab apparatus. Always get high-quality lab equipment, including Petri dishes, so that you can always deal with the samples accurately. Substandard apparatus can cause contamination and can ruin studies and results.
This blog aims to teach you how to use Petri dishes correctly and efficiently. For more information on laboratory tools such as a 5ml Serological Pipet, square media bottles, 96 Well Plate, tips, cell culture items, and other lab devices, contact MBP INC.