Use of a Microincinerator in Microbiology Lab - P2
Microincinerator with slide tray for heat fixing bacterial smears.
Sterilizing an Inoculation Wand: To sterilize a loop, place it in the hub (opening) of the microincinerator for just a few seconds, until the portion of the inoculation wand that is being sterilized glows red. Once the loop is removed from the incinerator, it almost instantly stops glowing, and within 20 seconds or so, will be cool enough to use.

Heat Fixing Bacterial Smears: A bacterial specimen on a microscope slide is called a smear. It is prepared using a bacterial sample obtained with an inoculation loop that is then mixed with water or physiological saline in the surface of a microscope slide. 

​Page last updated: 2/2016

Sources & Resources
  • Schauer Cynthia (2007) Lab Manual to Microbiology for the Health Sciences, Kalamazoo Valley Community College.

  • Bauman, R. (2005) Microbiology. Pearson Benjamin Cummings.

Microincinerator with Bacterial Smears Heat Fixing on Metal Platform
So that the smear doesn’t wash away during staining, it is heat-fixed, using either the open flame of a Bunsen burner or, preferably, a slide platform affixed to the top of a microincinerator (see photo to right). 
Virtual Microbiology

You have free access to a large collection of materials used in a college-level introductory microbiology course. The Virtual Microbiology Classroom provides a wide range of free educational resources including PowerPoint Lectures, Study Guides, Review Questions and Practice Test Questions.
Prokaryotic Cell, Mariana Ruiz
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Bacteria are very small and essentially colorless, so the bacterial smear must eventually be stained in order to be visible when viewed through a microscope.

Microbiology Lab Videos
Inoculation Loop Used ro Apply a Bacterial  Sample to TSY Agar
Inoculation Wand
Gram stained bacterial smear with controls on outside and unknown in center.
By placing the bacterial smear slide on the hot slide platform for several minutes, the bacteria are killed and the smear is affixed to the slide so that it will not wash off during staining.
Gram stained bacterial smear with controls on outside and unknown in center.
G+ & G- control smears on outside. Unknown bacteria in center.
Gram Stained 
Bacterial Smear
Hub of Microincierator