What was later called Petri dish was originally developed by a German physician Robert Koch in his private laboratory in 1881, as a precursor method. Petri, as assistant to Koch, at Berlin University made the final modifications in 1887 as used today.
Petri dishes are usually cylindrical, mostly with diameters ranging from 30 to 200 millimetres (1.2 to 7.9 in), and a height to diameter ratio ranging from 1:10 to 1:4. Squarish versions are also available.
Since the 1960s, plastic dishes, usually disposable, are also common.
The dishes are often covered with a shallow transparent lid, resembling a slightly wider version of the dish itself. The lids of glass dishes are usually loose-fitting. Plastic dishes may have close-fitting covers that delay the drying of the contents. Alternatively, some glass or plastic versions may have small holes around the rim, or ribs on the underside of the cover, to allow for air flow over the culture and prevent water condensation.
Some Petri dishes, especially plastic ones, usually feature rings and/or slots on their lids and bases so that they are less prone to sliding off one another when stacked or sticking to a smooth surface by suction.
Small dishes may have a protruding base that can be secured on a microscope stage for direct examination
Some versions may have grids printed on the bottom to help in measuring the density of cultures.
A microplate is a single container with an array of flat-bottomed cavities, each being essentially a small Petri dish. It makes it possible to inoculate and grow dozens or hundreds of independent cultures of dozens of samples at the same time. Besides being much cheaper and convenient than separate dishes, the microplate is also more amenable to automated handling and inspection.
The Petri dish was developed by German physician Julius Richard Petri (after whom the name is given) while working as an assistant to Robert Koch at Berlin University. Petri did not invent the culture dish himself; rather, it was a modified version of Koch's invention. Koch had published a precursor dish in a booklet in 1881 titled "Zur Untersuchung von Pathogenen Organismen" (Methods for the Study of Pathogenic Organisms), which has been known as the "Bible of Bacteriology." He described a new bacterial culture method that used a glass slide with agar and a container (basically a Petri dish, a circular glass dish of 20 × 5 cm with matching lid) which he called feuchte Kammer ("moist chamber"). A bacterial culture was spread on the glass slide, then placed in the moist chamber with a small wet paper. Bacterial growth was easily visible.
Petri made changes in how the circular dish was used. It is often asserted that Petri developed a new culture plate, but this is incorrect. Instead of using a separate glass slide or plate on which culture media were placed, Petri directly placed media into the glass dish, eliminating unnecessary steps such as transferring the culture media, using the wet paper, and reducing the chance of contamination. He published the improved method in 1887 as "Eine kleine Modification des Koch’schen Plattenverfahrens" ("A minor modification of the plating technique of Koch"). Although it could have been named "Koch dish," the final method was given an eponymous name Petri dish.
The dishes are then left undisturbed for hours or days while the organism grows, possibly in an incubator. They are usually covered, or placed upside-down, to lessen the risk of contamination from airborne spores.
Virus or phage cultures require that a population of bacteria be grown in the dish first, which then becomes the culture medium for the viral inoculum.
While Petri dishes are widespread in microbiological research, smaller dishes tend to be used for large-scale studies in which growing cells in Petri dishes can be relatively expensive and labor-intensive.
Contamination detection and mappingEdit
Petri dishes can be used to visualize the location of contamination on surfaces, such as kitchen counters and utensils, clothing, food preparation equipment, or animal and human skin.
For this application, the Petri dishes may be filled so that the culture medium protrudes slightly above the edges of the dish to make it easier to take samples on hard objects. Shallow Petri dishes prepared in this way are called Replicate Organism Detection And Counting (RODAC) plates and are available commercially.
Petri dishes also make convenient temporary storage for samples, especially liquid, granular, or powdered ones, and small objects such as insects or seeds. Their transparency and flat profile allows the contents to be inspected with the naked eye, magnifying glass, or low-power microscope without removing the lid.
In popular cultureEdit
The Petri dish is one of a small number of laboratory equipment items whose name entered popular culture. It is often used metaphorically, e.g. for a contained community that is being studied as if they were microorganisms in a biology experiment, or an environment where original ideas and enterprises may flourish.
^Ralf Reski (1998). "Development, genetics and molecular biology of mosses" (PDF). Botanica Acta. 111: 1–15. doi:10.1111/j.1438-8677.1998.tb00670.x. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-09-24. Retrieved 2015-07-19.
^Petri, R.J. (1887). "Eine kleine Modification des Koch'schen Plattenverfahrens" [A small modification of Koch's plate method]. Centralblatt für Bakteriologie und Parasitenkunde (in German). 1: 279–80.
^ abPetri, R.J. (1887). "Eine kleine Modification des Koch'schen Plattenverfahrens" [A small modification of Koch's plate method]. Centralblatt für Bakteriologie und Parasitenkunde (English Translation, Braus, 2020) (in German). 1: 279–80.
^ abGary Singer (2018): "Sonder, in the City". Quote: As a native New Yorker, I tend to think of this city as a giant petri dish, in which some of the greatest breakthroughs, inventions, and audacious ideas have been nurtured to fruition. In Angela Dews (ed.) Still, in the City: Creating Peace of Mind in the Midst of Urban Chaos, p. 40. ISBN 978-1510732346
^ abIsabel Slone (2018): "What Does the Mall Goth Nostalgia Trend Really Mean?". Quote: "mall goth" was a style of dress that combined the hallmarks of punk, goth and metal subcultures and thrived like bacteria in the petri dish of the early 2000s. Online article in the Fashion Magazine website, May 22, 2018. Accessed on 2019-10-25.
^ abc(2019): "Product 4909050: PYREX reusable Petri dishes: complete". Fischer Scientific online catalog. Accessed on 2019-10-25.
^(2019): "Product BRB011: Petri Dish 200 mm, borosilicate". Rogo-Sampaic online catalog. Accessed on 2019-10-25.
^(2019): "Product BTX9302 Corning 100 x 25mm bio-agricultural Petri dishes". Fischer Scientific online catalog. Accessed on 2019-10-25.
^ ab(2019): "Item 1219C98: Square Petri dish w/ grid". Thomas Scientific online catalog. Accessed on 2019-10-25.
^ ab(2019): "Product 11708573: Gosselin Square Petri Dish". Fischer Scientific online catalog. Accessed on 2019-10-25.
^(2019): "Product BP94S01: Corning 100 x 15mm Polystyrene Petri Dishes". Fischer Scientific online catalog. Accessed on 2019-10-25.
^ ab(2019): "Item 09-720-500: Fisherbrand disposable Petri dishes". Fischer Scientific online catalog. Accessed on 2019-10-25.
^(2019): "Item SB93102: Corning 100x15mm Petri dish with three vents". Fischer Scientific online catalog. Accessed on 2019-10-25.
^(2019): "Product PD1504700 MilliporeSigma PetriSlide for contamination analysis". Fischer Scientific online catalog. Accessed on 2019-10-25.
^(2019): "Item 41044: Petri dishes made of glass with grid and cover". Assistent (Karl Hecht) online catalog. Accessed on 2019-10-25
^ abHufford, David C. (1988-03-01). "A Minor Modification by R. J. Petri". Laboratory Medicine. 19 (3): 169–170. doi:10.1093/labmed/19.3.169. ISSN 0007-5027.
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^Hurt, Leslie (2003). "Dr. Robert Koch:: a founding father of biology". Primary Care Update for OB/GYNS. 10 (2): 73–74. doi:10.1016/S1068-607X(02)00167-1.
^ abShama, Gilbert (2019). "The "Petri" Dish: A Case of Simultaneous Invention in Bacteriology". Endeavour. 43 (1–2): 11–16. doi:10.1016/j.endeavour.2019.04.001. PMID31030894. S2CID 139105012.
^Sakula, A. (1982). "Robert Koch: centenary of the discovery of the tubercle bacillus, 1882". Thorax. 37 (4): 246–251. doi:10.1136/thx.37.4.246. PMC459292. PMID6180494.
^Brock, Thomas D. (1999). Robert Koch: A Life in Medicine and Bacteriology. Washington, D.C.: American Society of Microbiology. doi:10.1128/9781555818272. ISBN 978-1-55581-143-3.
^Weiss, Robin A. (2005). "Robert Koch: the grandfather of cloning?". Cell. 123 (4): 539–542. doi:10.1016/j.cell.2005.11.001. PMID16286000.
^Blevins, Steve M.; Bronze, Michael S. (2010). "Robert Koch and the 'golden age' of bacteriology". International Journal of Infectious Diseases. 14 (9): e744–751. doi:10.1016/j.ijid.2009.12.003. PMID20413340.
^Zhang, Shuguang (2004). "Beyond the Petri dish". Nature Biotechnology. 22 (2): 151–152. doi:10.1038/nbt0204-151. PMID14755282. S2CID 36391864.
^Grzybowski, Andrzej; Pietrzak, Krzysztof (2014). "Robert Koch (1843-1910) and dermatology on his 171st birthday". Clinics in Dermatology. 32 (3): 448–450. doi:10.1016/j.clindermatol.2013.10.005. PMID24887990.
^Chowdhury, F. (2010). "Soft substrates promote homogeneous self-renewal of embryonic stem cells via downregulating cell-matrix tractions". PLOS ONE. 5 (12): e15655. Bibcode:2010PLoSO...515655C. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0015655. PMC3001487. PMID21179449.
^Lemmen, Sebastian W.; Häfner, Helga; Zolldann, Dirk; Amedick, Günter; Lutticken, Rüdolf (2001). "Comparison of two sampling methods for the detection of Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria in the environment: Moistened swabs versus Rodac plates". International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health. 203 (3): 245–48. doi:10.1078/S1438-4639(04)70035-8. PMID11279821.
^Kasia Galazka (2015): "Here's A Gorgeous Petri Dish Handprint Of An 8-Year-Old After He Played Outside". BuzzFeed.News online article, June 9, 2015. Accessed on 2019-10-25.
^Sonja Bäumel (2009): "Oversized petri dish". Culture of microorganisms from the artist's skin pressed onto a body-size culture plate, photographed over the span of 44 days. Part of her (In)visible membrane project. Wageningen, Germany. Accessed on 2019-10-25.
^Scott Sutton (2007): "Microbial Surface Monitoring", p. 78. Chapter 5 of Anne Marie Dixon (ed.), Environmental Monitoring for Cleanrooms and Controlled Environments. ISBN 978-1420014853
^Géraldine Daneau, Elie Nduwamahoro, Kristina Fissette, Patrick Rüdelsheim, Dick van Soolingen, Bouke C. de Jong, Leen Rigouts (2016): "Use of RODAC plates to measure containment of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in a Class IIB biosafety cabinet during routine operations." International Journal of Mycobacteriology, volume 5, issue 2, pp. 148–54. doi:10.1016/j.ijmyco.2016.01.003