Petri dish

November 1, 2021

The laboratory instruments for smaller or larger than are fulfilled a specific role, and even seem insignificant, at times, are essential to accomplish tasks, such as the petri dish.

This plate is a centerpiece in microbiology, its round and made of glass appearance provides the ideal environment for the creation of small-scale microbial life, origin of the creation of the entire planet.

What is a Petri Dish?

The Petri dish is a laboratory instrument made in its principles of glass (now there is plastic). The functions of this piece include the observation of biological phenomena and that you can use it as a basis in weighing activities with different balances.

The Petri dish belongs to the group of glass materials in a laboratory, it is small, compact and of low weight, it has a lid of the same size.

What is a Petri Dish for?

The main function of the Petri dish is the observation of biological phenomena, since a series of living organisms are placed inside it, in order to see through its transparency, all the changes or movements that these organisms can make.

Another function of the Petri dish is to provide an ideal space for the cultivation of microorganisms, so that studies of their behavior can be made, and thus know how to neutralize or enhance them.

In some cases, when special items need to be weighed on the balance , this instrument is used to avoid direct contact with the balance and thus ensure a good measurement.

In short, its activities are aimed at investigating and observing different phenomena, on a small scale. This is fundamental, because the recreation of ecosystems in these spaces, allows a direct and real approach with the different biological events, in order to advance in the field of research auguring new results.

Uses of the Petri Dish

The uses of the Petri Dish are destined, almost exclusively, to the research laboratories of the different sciences, either chemistry, biology, among others. The uses of the Petri Dish are intended to:

  • Observation of colonies of microorganisms.
  • Observation of samples of both biological and chemical origin.
  • For the realization of agar plates , where in this plate are provided all the conditions for the identification, development and development of organisms using agar-agar.
  • It is used to carry out plant germination procedures, after the cultivation of eukaryotic cells.
  • It allows the drying of different fluids when exposed to a series of ovens or direct heat.
  • Allows microscope observation of internal components without the need to open the capsule.
  • You can easily and safely transport microbial environments or different fluids.
  • You can observe the growth of different seeds by exposing yourself to a medium suitable for their growth.

You can see how the Petri dish has an extended functionality, especially in the branches of biology , for the treatment of numerous living organisms.

How does a Petri Dish work?

The Petri dish does not have an established operating mechanism so to speak. What I can tell you is that being made of glass or plastic and vacuum sealed, it is allowed to keep living organisms under a neutral environment, so that they develop and thus be able to see all these changes.

When you go to make cultures, you have to use the plate upside down so that the culture grows down towards the top. Once the time has passed, you can turn it over and observe the entire microbial environment developed in these spaces.

If you are interested in doing microbial cultures, the steps you should follow are the following:

  • Before using these plates, you need to put them through an oven heating process to sterilize them and avoid contamination of the samples.
  • Then you have to pour the different liquids or compounds into the plate for the experiment, that is, nutrients, agar-agar , minerals, among others. Usually the petri dish is half full .
  • Wait the time necessary for the components to condense, when using agar-agar the plate is placed upside down due to the evaporation of water that it originates and its solidification.
  • Once ready, you proceed to incubate the microorganisms you want to study in these spaces and from there you just have to wait for time for the microbial environment to develop and take note of all the changes.

It is a simple process to make cultures on this plate because, as we saw, it is only a matter of pouring liquids and microorganisms, sealing and waiting for the results. Keep in mind, maintain the security conditions that the laboratories merit in these procedures.

Petri Dish Types

The petri dishes have a particular classification, according to the material of which are made or according to the purpose for which is to be used. This is why it can be concluded that there are many types of Petri dishes , these are:

  • Polystyrene Plastic Petri Dish

This is a type of specialized plastic that comes completely sterilized, its useful life is shorter than glass, but it can last several samples, depending on the care you give it. This is a more recent model, since before they were only made of glass, but it was a way to reduce production costs.

  • Glass Petri Dish

It was the initial model and has a very long durability, as it is made of glass, it can be completely sterilized in the ovens, ensuring clean and different samples. It is an excellent investment for multifunctional laboratories that work with a large number of samples.

  • Disposable Petri Dish

This is a model that is made of a less resistant plastic, it only allows to make a sample since it cannot be sterilized by any means. When the experiment ends they have to be discarded, they are the cheapest.

  • Agar plate

It is used for agar-agar studies , once it is placed in the Petri dish it changes its name to agar plate. This is very useful for the realization of the cultures.

  • Contact Petri Dishes

It is a specialized Petri dish for observation, counting and identification of replicated organisms.

Despite being a simple glass plate, you can see a well differentiated specialization, a product of the wide functionality it has and as a way to guarantee better results in each of the procedures.

Petri Dish Features

The Petri Dish is a particular instrument that meets a series of particular characteristics that allow it to perform all the aforementioned functions and to differentiate itself from the wide range of existing laboratory instruments . The main ones are the following:

  • It is a small, round instrument with a capsule.
  • It has a lid that allows the plate to be completely sealed, it is a little larger than the base of the plate so that they can be opposed to each other.
  • Despite having a lid it does not close hermetically, you can remove it whenever you want and easily, this in order to extract the samples to be analyzed easily.
  • They are made only of glass or crystal and plastic.
  • The maximum height of the Petri dish is around one centimeter, as it is a compact, small-scale artifact.
  • It belongs to the group of glass laboratory instruments.
  • The diameter of the circumference varies in length, usually those that are 10 cm are used.

The Petri dishes are completely different from other similar elements within the laboratory. Each of its characteristics allow you to achieve the objectives that you propose, when used.

Importance of the Petri Dish

The importance of these Petri dishes lies in their universal applicability, as they are constantly used in chemical, microbiological, biological, bacteriological, and food laboratories , among others.

In addition, they constitute a central piece in the study of phenomena of these branches that are so important for understanding the world, such as biology , the human body and food, because with this simple instrument the most transcendental discoveries of our times have been made, even winners of Nobel Prize winners.

Definitely, sometimes less is more. And it is that, in general terms, it is a simple but powerful glass plate, which has been an indisputable part of the growth of the field of research throughout the planet.

Recommendations on the Petri Dish

To ensure reliable results and the estimated durability of your Petri dish, it is necessary to comply with a series of recommendations, among which are the following:

  • The plate should be sterilized each time it is going to be used, since when used primarily to work with microorganisms, it will be prone to being easily contaminated.
  • It must be handled using the necessary clothing , being necessary to avoid direct contact with it, as it could contaminate the sample, and yourself. That is why wearing laboratory gloves is essential.
  • Follow the instructions according to the operation, such as, for example, process the agar-agar with the plate upside down, as the gases released have to come out, otherwise they could atrophy the bacteria.
  • Collect the samples using the necessary instruments, because they are microorganisms that, for the most part, can be pathogens.
  • Store these Petri dishes properly , in safe places and with the necessary environmental conditions.
  • Remember that disposables are for one-time use only.

All the care you can have when handling this Petri Dish is welcome, given the delicacy of the instrument. Giving it proper use ensures many years of experimentation.

History of the Petri Dish

The Petri Dish owes its name to its inventor, a German-born bacteriologist named Julius Richard Petri , who in his quest to study bacterial development, in collaboration with his advisor Robert Koch, invented this plate in 1877 to carry out this task.

Dr. Loony Davis5
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Born and raised in Brussels in an English family, I have always lived in a multicultural environment. After several work experiences in marketing and communication, I came to Smart Water Magazine, which I describe as the most exciting challenge of my career.
I am a person with great restlessness and curiosity to learn, discover what I do not know, as well as reinvent myself daily, someone who is curious about life and wants to know. I enjoy sharing knowledge.
This is my personal project but I also collaborate in other blogs, it is the case, the most important web on water currently exists in the US, if you are interested you can read my articles here.

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