Glass Petri dishes vs Plastic petri dishes: Which Should You Choose?

Glass Petri dishes vs Plastic petri dishes: Which Should You Choose?


  • Post By : Kumar Jeetendra

  • Source: Microbioz India

  • Date: 26 Mar,2023

Petri dishes are cylindrical containers with lids that are shallow and specifically intended for use in microbiology and cell culture. The standard materials for petri dishes are borosilicate glass or transparent plastics (typically polystyrene or polycarbonate) in a range of sizes. They come in two forms: single-use and reusable, with the latter being resistant to contamination even after repeated sterilisation (wet or dry).

What exactly is a Petri dish?

A Petri dish is a type of dish that is cylindrical in shape and has a lid. It is constructed of shallow clear glass or plastic and is used to retain a thin coating of agar. Utilized for the purpose of growing bacteria, fungus, and various other microorganisms.

Julius Richard Petri (1852-1921), who served as an assistant to Robert Koch in Berlin at the Imperial Health Office, is credited with inventing the Petri dish. The Petri dish is named after its creator. He invented a double dish that was compact, circular, and had a level bottom with sides. One of the two dishes was somewhat larger than the other, and it was used as both a cover and a shield.

Petri dishes created based on two guiding ideas


Separation refers to the process of cultivating microorganisms while separating them from airborne contaminants. After the microorganisms have been cultured, individuals (handlers) and the environment must be separated from these bacteria.

Transparency / Visibility

Because of its transparency and visibility, it enabled researchers to easily monitor and study microorganisms while they were contained within a specific environment.

Petri dishes types

There is a wide range of options available to consumers in terms of the form, dimensions, and components of petri dishes. The particular application as well as the requirements of the laboratory will determine the type of petri dish that is utilised.

The following are some of the more frequent kinds of petri dishes:

 Petri dish Sizes

They are available in a wide range of sizes, with diameters ranging anywhere from a few millimetres to several centimetres:

  1. The smallest available dish has a 35 mm diameter.
  2. 60mm
  3. The standard microbiology tube size is 90mm.
  4. A 100 mm Petri dish, for culturing cells for tissue culture investigations or growing larger bacterial colonies.
  5. The 150mm size is ideal for cultivating enormous swaths of cells, such as those found in plant tissues or yeast.

Petri dish Shape

Petri dishes are almost always in the shape of a circle; however, there are some speciality petri dishes that may have different shapes.

The shape of the petri dish that the researchers use in their experiment is determined by the specific criteria of the experiment, which are as follows:

  1. The most frequent shape for a Petri dish is a round one.
  2. Square form.
  3. Form similar to a rectangle.


Scientists are becoming conscious of their dependency on plastic at the same time that the rest of the world is. Plastic’s wide availability can be attributed to the fact that it is both useful and inexpensive to purchase. Laboratories have been required for years to properly dispose of plastic waste due to contamination concerns. In the past, many believed that it was an essential component of scientific study; however, many today believe that it is time for changes.

There are many different kinds of materials that can be used to make petri dishes, including the following:

Petri dishes made of glass

After being placed through a sterilisation process in either an autoclave or a laboratory oven, the glassware that is used in a laboratory can be used again after it has been cleaned. Some items can be re-sterilized multiple times due to their durable construction and ability to withstand multiple washings. Glass that is composed of borosilicate and quartz has the ability to withstand the impacts of thermal shock better than other types of glass. Additional qualities can be discovered in proprietary materials such as KIMAX® (manufactured by Kimble Chase), Pyrex® (manufactured by Corning), and Zerdour® (produced by Schott Glass). Petri dishes produced by KIMAX, for instance, may be advised for use in applications that demand high levels of both physical strength and resistance to chemical corrosion, as an example. Petri dishes are ideal for use in applications such as these since they offer both of these benefits.

Petri dishes made of plastic

While working in a lab where there is a chance of cross-contamination, disposable plastic Petri plates are a great choice. Although Fluoroelastomer materials do poorly at low temperatures, they are highly resistant to heat, oil, and chemicals. Nitrile is suitable for use in some low temperature applications since it can withstand temperatures from -30 degrees Fahrenheit to 275 degrees Fahrenheit. Similar to EPDM, neoprene dishes are resistant to the damaging effects of ultraviolet light and can be utilised in a wide temperature range.

The manufacturers of plastic Petri dishes can label their wares as being free from optical distortion if they so want. This is essential for applications in which the contents of a cell culture dish need to be viewed, often using a microscope with a low magnification setting.

Points to consider before buying petri dishes

While picking Petri dishes, customers have the option of specifying the diameter they wish as well as choosing products that are either durable or reusable. Petri dishes designed for heavy-duty use are typically constructed using a material that is more robust than the glass or plastic used in conventional laboratory equipment. Disposable plates, such as the ones seen below, are not only more affordable but also lower in weight.

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