Culture Tubes
  • Cell culture tubes are available in a range of materials including borosilicate and soda-lime glass, and plastic.
  • Our glass culture tubes have sturdy, uniform bottoms and consistent lengths.
  • All culture tubes are packed in convenient trays for ease of use on bench tops and in drawers.
  • Choose KIMBLE® plain disposable plastic tubes for aqueous solutions, mild bases and weak acids, and to autoclave.
  • Opt for KIMBLE® KIM-KAP™ polypropylene culture tube closures that are autoclavable and color-coded for convenience and ease of identification.
  • Choose KIMBLE® disposable screw thread culture tube with marking spot for tissue culture work and general bacteriological use.

Culture Tubes FAQs

Culture Tubes

Frequently Asked Questions

The purpose of a culture tube is to provide a stable environment to contain and cultivate the growth of microorganisms, cells, or tissues. Some uses and applications of a culture tube include:

  • Creating a small-scale culture of biological samples under controlled conditions such as temperature, humidity, and nutrient supply.
  • Storing and preserving small samples such as blood, urine, and plant fragments.

The volume capacity of a cell culture tube varies depending on its design and purpose. Typically, cell culture tubes are available in the range of a few mL to larger volume tubes that can accommodate 50 mL and even larger volumes.

DWK offers cell culture tubes with varying volume capacities for a range of applications.

The difference between a test tube and a culture tube is its use and application. However, they may overlap and are often interchangeably used.

  • A test tube’s primary use is holding and mixing small quantities of solutions and heating or cooling samples.
  • A culture tube’s primary function is to culture microorganisms or cells in a controlled laboratory setting.

Culture tubes are held at an angle, or tilted, to improve oxygen availability or to prevent condensation.

When you hold a culture tube at an angle, you can:

  • Increase the surface area of the liquid medium in contact with the oxygen in the air. This helps increase oxygen availability to the growing cells or microorganisms, for example, aerobic bacterial cultures.
  • Prevent moisture accumulation inside the cap. Moisture accumulation happens due to the condensation of water vapor, which can potentially drip back into the culture medium and cause contamination. Tilting the culture tube reduces contamination risk by preventing condensation on the inner cap surface.

To clean culture tubes, you need to disassemble the tube from the cap and thoroughly rinse, wash, rinse again, and sterilize the cell culture tube. For the sterilization of glass culture tubes, dry heat or autoclaving is recommended, but other techniques may also be suitable. The final step in cleaning a culture tube is allowing the decontaminated tube to dry in a clean and sterile environment.

DWK also provides disposable culture tubes made from plastic, which are autoclavable at 120 °C for 15 minutes.