The process is automated. Before the automated petri dish streaking process is allowed to begin, the technician will need to inoculate the petri dish with selected specimens. The inoculum needs to be marked for a specified reference point at the bottom of the petri dish. The reference point can be in the form of a label, a greased pencil mark or that of a frosted rectangular Isomark as it is referred to. In the latter case, this is now standard procedure amongst a majority of petri dish manufacturers.
Because they all appear to have this mark at the bottom of their manufactured dishes. An Iso-plater is used as a further reference point to align the petri dish before streaking commences. By the time petri dishes are ready for streaking they will be placed in portable carousels. These carousels have the ability to hold as many as four stacks of twenty dishes. They can then be unloaded during operations for the purposes of achieving maximum efficiency.
The carousel is automatically rotated. This rotation hauls in the plates, downloads the dish, removes a lid, orients the dish, and then transfers this dish, with its lid. Rotations lead to streaks in four successive quadrants for isolation purposes. Once this rotation process ends, the lid is replaced. And the completed dish then gets uploaded into the unload carousel. Nichrome streaking loops will be sterilized.
This sterilization is achieved through electrical heating until incandescence between successive samples is achieved. Streaking and loop sterilization occurs in a contained negative pressure area in which all exhaust air is HEPA filtered in order to provide protection in close proximity to the work site. Here, all aerosols and smoke will be removed. These pollutants are generated when biohazardous specimens are burned off its loops.