noun, plural: inoculation loops
A tool usually made of platinum or nichrome wire in which the tip forms a small loop with a diameter of about 5 mm, and is used to smear, streak, or take an inoculum from, a culture of microorganisms.
The inoculation loop is handy for use in inoculation or cultivation of microorganisms as it can be easily sterilized over a flame when transferring or retrieving microorganisms, consequently preventing or reducing chances of cross-contamination.
Alternative form: inoculating loop.
Synonym: smear loop, inoculation wand, microstreaker.
See also: inoculation, streak culture.