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Inoculation loop

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noun, plural: inoculation loops

A tool usually made of platinum or nichrome wire in which the tip forms a small loop with a diameter of about 5 mm, and is used to smear, streak, or take an inoculum from, a culture of microorganisms.


The inoculation loop is handy for use in inoculation or cultivation of microorganisms as it can be easily sterilized over a flame when transferring or retrieving microorganisms, consequently preventing or reducing chances of cross-contamination.

Alternative form: inoculating loop.
Synonym: smear loop, inoculation wand, microstreaker.
See also: inoculation, streak culture.