Hint No. 9

Adhesive Mats

– a popular alternative to secure culture vessels on shakers


Adhesive mats or sticky mats offer a popular alternative to metal clamps and other holders of culture vessels. They can be used on shakers and inside incubators. The containers are placed directly on the adhesive mat and can be shaken at speeds up to 200 rpm, depending on the type of mat, shaker settings (diameter and speed) as well as on the shape and weight of the culture vessels.



Compared with the conventional holders, sticky mats are more flexible. They are suitable for all flat bottomed glass or plastic containers, particularly:

  • Erlenmeyer or Fernbach flasks 
  • Round or square bottles 
  • Microtiter plates (low and deep well) 
  • Plastic carboys 


The inconvinient exchange of clamps for the usage of different sized containers is eliminated.




Dr. Shakers recommandations for the use of sticky mats
General recommandations
  • Read the instructions of the manufacturer before using sticky mats.
  • Moisture and dirt reduce the adhesive properties of sticky mats
  • Before application of a sticky mat, clean the surface of the tray with a solvent (acetone).
  • Keep flasks and mats dry, a daily check is recommended.
  • Be careful if condensation is present in your incubator, especially at low temperatures.
  • Adhesive mats cannot be used in a water bath shaker.
  • When using vessels without a flat bottom perform a function test with the desired shaking speed to determine their suitability.
  • Avoid direct UV illumination; it might damage the polymeric structure of sticky mats.
Safety Instructions
  • Always use the correct protective equipment (gloves, goggles, etc.).
  • Take special care when using glass containers. Check the flasks before using, never use a damaged vessel. 
Shaking instructions
  • Before shaking, check the bottom of the flask and the surface of the sticky mat are clean and dry and ensure each flask is pressed firmly on the mat.
Disinfection and cleaning
  • Clean dirty mats by rinsing well with water and let them dry for 24 h.
  • Decontamination with 70 % ethanol is possible, but use of solvents may reduce the life span of adhesive mats. Rinse well with water afterwards.
  • When cleaning or disinfecting the incubator the mats must be removed as they could absorb and slowly release the chemicals. This might adversely affect the growth of cultures. If this happens, rinse the mats well with water and ventilate the incubator.
  • For optimum adhesion the flask should not stay on the adhesive mat more than 18 days. If shaking longer, remove the flask and put it back again to maintain stickiness.
  • After shaking, simply remove the flask by gently pulling at the neck. Using a circular motion the flask can be taken away without loosening the Sticky Mat or Strip from the tray.
  • Check the sticky mats for cleanliness


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