​All You Need to Know About Petri Dishes

​All You Need to Know About Petri Dishes

The How and Why of Their Invention and What to Look for  

Petri dishes have a lengthy history as a lab essential. Prior to their invention in the late 1800’s, bacteriologists were using bell jars to grow cultures.

What’s all this talk about culture? Microbes don’t have culture!

Julius Richard Petri invented the dish in 1887 while working under Robert Koch as a way of reducing contaminated airflow to specimens.

Similar designs had been suggested previously, but the now famous format was best because it covers and protects work without making it less accessible to the researcher.

Throughout the history of the dish, little has changed about the design until recently.

But as the field of biotechnology advances, more and more innovations have arrived for this simple piece of labware.

Well hello! Simplicity and sophistication go hand in hand!

At its most basic, the petri dish is usually a 100 mm cylinder made from polystyrene or borosilicate glass. Most are disposable, but the glass ones can be reused.

The average plate is clear and about 15 mm high with an overhanging lid. However, you can find just about any exception to the rules if you look for it enough.

Before you start to worry about being left out of the petri loop, we’ll gladly walk you through the more commonly available types available through our online catalog.

Specialty Plates

Slippable vs. Stackable

Dishes come in two main varieties…Slippable and stackable.

Slippable ones have a smoother bottom edge that allows them to be slipped from location to location with ease within an automated handling system.

These plates include arrows and ISO mark targets for recognition. They may come with or without a skirt on the lid, depending on the intended purpose.

The 150 mm rimless plate for automated purposes

Like most dishes they are adherent to the highest laboratory standards…sterile packed, optically clear, and free of nucleases.

Nothing like the sparkle of fresh polystyrene in the morning…

If you are currently thinking about an automated streaking protocol, you should take a look at our in-house brand of 100 X 15mm slippable petri dishes.

They’re the exact same design as the most popular brands on the market for less than you’d pay for a competitor.

Stackable ones have a squared bottom edge that makes for easier manual handling and orderly stacking. They normally have skirted lids for one-handed unlidding.

They are more cost-effective than slippable if not required. See our in-house brand of 100 x 15 mm stackable dishes to compare.

Vented Lids

Lids with ribbing along the inner portion prevent the plate from being sealed off entirely when covered. Enhanced gas exchange is a must for mammalian cell cultures growing in plates.

Many of our available plates feature ventilation ribbing, including specialty plates like this rimless, slippable option.

Deep Dishes

Deep plates are available with extra height between the lid and sample. These plates are meant to offer space for work that requires it, like the growth of seedlings.

Do you need some extra dimension for your experiments? We offer Kord Valmark extra deep dish plates with 25mm height. Use the extra space for extra growth time, extra space, or easier handling.

Treated vs. Untreated and Coated Plates

Treated plates are treated with low frequency plasma before packaging. This changes the surface polymer structure and improves cell adhesion. However, some cells don’t benefit from this.

While immortalized cell lines will grow on polystyrene plates, primary cell cultures grow best when plates are coated with collagen or poly-d-lysine to aid cell adhesion.

Our 90 x 20mm uncoated culture dishes are ideal for any protocol that requires the use of a cell attachment medium.

On top of that, these plates are slightly smaller and deeper than standard plates, which makes them better for freshly plated cells!

Learn all of the rules, and then break them! Or, maybe don’t. Don’t break anything, please.

Divided Plates

Divided plates are used to compare different treatments, such as the efficacy of different antibiotics in a culture of bacteria.

The types available are two-way, three-way, and four-way. Take a look at our catalog of divided dishes and see which options suit your needs best.

Research connections: Recent experiments about the thermal pain response of nematode worms used some with four way divisions to test thermal receptor stimulation.

Other Specialty Plates from Stellar Scientific

We’ve only just scraped the surface! Maybe you need a plate with a convex grid for easier sizing and counting, or you’re in search specifically of a vented lid.

That’s all here, as are plates of different diameters. Check out our entire catalog for more, and let us know if something feels like it’s missing!



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