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The magnetic stirrer is used in many biological labs, including microbiology labs also. A magnetic stirrer is a laboratory device consisting of either a rotating magnet or stationary electromagnets creating a rotating magnetic field. This device is used to cause a stir bar immersed in a liquid to spin very quickly, agitating or mixing the liquid.
A magnetic stirrer often includes a provision for heating the liquid. Stirrers are often used in laboratories, especially in the field of biology and microbiology. They are preferred over gear-driven motorized stirrers because they are quieter, more efficient, and have no moving external parts to break or wear out (other than the simple bar magnet itself).
Due to its small size, a stirring bar is more easily cleaned and sterilized than other stirring devices. Magnetic stirrers avoid two major problems with motorized stirrers. Firstly, motorized stirrers use lubricants, which can contaminate the reaction vessel and the product. Secondly, in motorized stirrers, the sealing of the connection between the rotating shaft of the stirrer and the vessel can be problematic, especially if a closed system is needed.
Description Credit- http://principlemicrobiology.blogspot.com
Maintenance and Usage Recommendations
1. Magnetic stirrer should be used on level surfaces.
2. If hazardous vapours will not be produced, hot plates should be in an area free of drafts to ensure heating efficiency.
3. Keep the top surface of the magnetic stirrer clean. Use a non-abrasive cleaner to clean the surface and the outside of the unit.
4. Replace the top surface if damage.
5. Maintain the instrument logbook, containing this SOP, temperature control record and/or maintenance repair logs, and associated instruction manuals in the immediate vicinity of the instrument.
Magnetic Stirrer Operation
1. Stir bar should be placed in the sample vessel prior to mixing.
2. Place the vessel on the stirrer so that it is centred. For stirrers with multiple
stirring blocks, centre the sample vessel over a stirring block.
3. Turn the instument on (refer to instruction manual for instrument-specific
4. Set the stirring speed (refer to instruction manual for instrument-specific
5. Note that the stirring speed will be affected by liquid viscosity, the size of the stir
bar, vessel size, and thickness of vessel bottom.
6. When stirring is complete, turn magnetic stirrer off and remove sample.
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