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2% Agar Pads

Various Pad Procedures:

Reagents (for 20 mls):

  • DI. H 2O – 20 ml
  • Agar – 0.4 g
  • 2 glass microscope slides
  • 2 slide covers

NOTE: 20 mls of 2.0% is more than enough for many agar pads. A pre-made stock solution will solidify, but can be used at a later time. Follow the microwave procedure to melt it down for reuse.

Agar Solution Procedure:

  1. Mix the agar with stirring in a 50 ml Erlenmeyer Flask.
  2. Cover the top with foil and autoclave for 60 minutes using a liquid cycle.

Microwave Procedure (for previous solidified stock solution):

  1. Microwave the stock solution in short 10-20 second bursts. Be careful as it could boil over quickly. The solution just needs to be melted, not boiling.
  2. Repeat quick microwaving as needed.

Agar Pads Procedure

  1. Put 2 separate drops of 2.0% agar solution onto either end of one of the slides. (Figure 1)
  2. Immediately place the other slide on top of it and gently press down to make uniform, thin layers of agar. (Figure 2) Allow to solidify.
  3. Once the agar has solidified, carefully remove the upper slide by sliding apart. Both pads need to remain on the same slide. (Figure3)
  4. Use a sharp edge to remove any bulges in the agar that may have formed by sticking out from beneath the upper slide. The edge of the previously removed microscope slide works well. (Figure 4)


Figure 1.

Put two drops of 2% agar on the slide.

back to procedure


Figure 2.

Press down other slide to make the pads thin and smooth.

back to procedure


Figure 3.

Slide the microscope slides apart, leaving both pads on the same side.

back to procedure


Figure 4.

Use the edge of the second microscope slide to create a smooth, flat edge.

back to procedure


Sudhir Nayak, Ph.D.

Biology Building 126
2000 Pennington Rd.
Ewing, NJ 08628
P) 609-771-2659


Dr. Nayak’s Lab
Biology Building 236
P) 609-771-3436