Friday, March 12, 2010

Lab Crafting

Yup, I do not only craft miniatures, but scientific crafting too!

My dear husband is so so busy these days that I pop in at the lab when everybody else is gone to keep him company. But I like to help if I can, and this is what I have been doing lately for him to use in his experiments. Bear with me, because this is long...

He taught me how to use this lathe so I could make holes in the bottom of little Petri dishes.

Dish before the process. The part on the left is the cover.

You secure the dish in the lathe:

And using the blade of the right (and much caution) you make a hole:

Dish after the cutting

When you have made holes in 20-25 dishes, you clean them up, scratching the rests of the plastic that have not come out. If you skip this step, cells get poisoned by the scraps and then they die :(

When you have finished cleaning them, you line them up in the table and take out 30mm round glass microscope covers. You can see them inside the big round dish:

These covers have been previously treated - you clean them 10 minutes under distilled running water, and leave them inside sulfuric acid overnight. The following day you clean them again under distilled running water and put them in a stove to dry overnight. You take the glue and put a circle on the bottom of the dish:

Then you take a glass cover and stick it to the glue:

You have to squeeze out the air bubbles:

And then you put them under an UV light for one hour on each side to cure the glue. Then there is no way the glue breaks or falls. Yup, the same UV that gives you a tan in a tanning saloon (and because I know how UV lights work, you will never see me in a tanning saloon).

Whew! What a work! Good thing is, doing this saves a lot of money for the lab. A ready made Petri dish with glass bottom costs around $10 - yes, research is expensive-. And this is a nice way to lower the costs.

Oh my, what a nerd I am :)

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