Purpose of a shaking incubator

Written by samuel sohlden
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Purpose of a shaking incubator
Test tubes used to culture in a shaking incubator. (cure s image by Andrey Kiselev from Fotolia.com)

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.

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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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