Consists of a looped nichrome wire fixed into an aluminum handle. The handle is 8 in. long. The durable non-calibrated 26 gauge nickel-chromium wire loop is approximately 8mm in diameter.
Microbiologists use inoculating loops to transfer microorganisms to growth media. It is easy to sterilize and reuse because nichrome wire resists deterioration with repeated heat/cooling cycles.
Flame sterilization is a very simple method of killing microorganisms on an inoculating loop. Hold the wire loop end inside an alcohol burner or bunsen burner flame for a few seconds to bring it to redness and then remove for 15-30 seconds to cool. When cooled, it is ready for culture inoculations.
In another application, use this loop to perform a flame test. A powdered sample of a metal salt is placed onto the Nichrome wire and suspended in a Bunsen burner flame to see what color flame results. More on this can be found on our "Creating Flame Colors" page.