Possibly the biggest Petri dish in the world(or at least Brighton)

Giant Petri Dish

Originally uploaded by Dr Brian 


As part of the Laboratory Life(Lighthouse Arts, Brighton) project “Infective Textiles” it was necessary to incubate calico panels of a regency dress pattern with bacteria.

Usually bacteria are cultured in small plastic dishes called petri dishes. These contain nutrient agar to support the growth.
With the standard petri dish being at most a 30 cm wide, and the calico panels being a lot larger, a new type of petri dish was called for – a DIY one.
The large petri dish was constructed from plastic sheeting, tape, thin bamboo and much plasticine. Basically the bamboo was encapsulated in the plastic with a fold and sealed in with double sided tape. This raised the edge of the plastic so that it would be like a very shallow play pool.  The final size was a L-shape of approximately 2m x 1m.
Then using a recipe sourced from Dr Simon Park(using standard household ingredients), we made 18 L of gel. Given the size, it was not sterile but given that we we then innoculated with plate scrapings from 20 plates of environmental bacteria, there was not much cause to be worried by contamination.



Growth Conditions
48hours at 26C {we raised the heating of the room}
kill cycle 3hrs at 70C in a domestic oven

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