Purpose of a shaking incubator

Updated April 17, 2017

A shaking incubator allows for an increased array of functions when growing micro-organisms in a liquid culture. It is differentiated from a normal incubator by a motor that spins sample tubes inside the device. This equipment is most often used in experiments that involve microbiology.

Increased Aeration

By constantly spinning the sample tubes, the liquid is allowed far more contact with air. This increases the percentage of oxygen within the liquid.

Equal Solubility

Any substances added to the culture, such as growth medium or an experimental chemical, will be equally diffused through the solution, resulting in equal exposure cell to cell.

Shorter Growth Period

A shorter growth period means that bacterial culture is ready for an experiment sooner, saving precious time. It also means there is more bacteria in the culture, allowing one culture to spread farther in experiments.

More Accurate Experiments

Because each sample tube in a spinning incubator is exposed to the same conditions, it allows for more reliable test results.


If you leave the cultures in too long, they will no longer be usable.

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About the Author

Samuel Sohlden began his freelance writing career in 2007. His work appears on various websites, with articles focusing on science and health. In 2010 he attended the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in San Jose, Calif. Sohlden is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in microbiology from the University of Cincinnati.