I am especially fond of recycling whenever it is feasibly possible and it seems like such a waste to toss these perfectly good containers into the trash when I am finished with them. In the past the major disadvantage of the plastic containers has been the inability to properly decontaminate them and to be able to reuse it for additional cultures. By being able to do so greatly cuts the cost of the tissue culture containers down to a minimum.
With this thought in mind I decided it was time to reuse these vessels once again. Naturally, they would need to be in a sterile condition in order to prevent contamination of the next series of explants that would be developing within them.
It obviously seemed like a very good idea to use the microwave oven for this exact purpose. The microwave can effectively kill any type of bacteria present and successfully decontaminate the plastic containers for further tissue culture work. Tests have shown that our common home microwave is well capable of decontaminating these containers with only a 3 minute cycle.
Initially cleaning the plastic tissue culture containers is fairly easy. One merely uses their usual dish detergent and washes them well followed by a rinse in fresh water. Generally, this will take most of the residue out of the containers and provide you with a clean container for reuse. It is the sterilization of the containers that used to pose you the greatest difficulty however with the use of the small microwave ovens as described above you are well on your way to an effective means of sterilizing these containers quickly and inexpensively.
So as a home lab user it is now possible to save a lot of money with not having to repurchase your cloning vessels after each and every batch.
Copyright @ 2009 Joseph Parish