Consists of a looped nichrome wire fixed into a brass handle. The handle is 8 in. long and 1/4 in. diam. The durable nichrome wire is 24 gauge and 2-3/4 in. long.
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.