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"Self Healing" Injection Ports: Why the are useless

Injection ports, and why they are pointless. Demystifying the internet’s widespread misinformation on at home mushroom cultivation.

Last Updated: Mon May 20 2024

RTV silicone and a 1/4’’ hole ought to do the trick! The first time I ever used, and believed in, “self-healing” injection ports it was on glass jars, filled with brown rice flour substrate. The mushroom growing community has aged, most of us purchase manufactured silicone injection ports. The smart ones use Luer lock ports.

For those not ready to take the plunge into owning a Laminar Flow Hood, syringes with needles are typically the recommended carrier for clean mycelium to colonize a solid substrate. Although syringes are excellent at keeping clean during the transfer, it is often the membrane they require passage through that likely will become the vector for future contamination. The needles used on Spore and Liquid Culture syringes are hollow-point needles. Since they are hollow in the center, and quite sharp. They remove material from whichever membrane they are passing through before ejecting its contents during transfer. This reason alone negates all efforts that any “self-healing” injection port may have for warding off contamination. Even on the first stab of a silicone injection port, the needle is removing material and causing an opening big enough for many common forms of contamination to pass into the uncolonized substrate.

Avoid the wasted time and contaminated substrate issues. If you are going to use needles to carry your cultures, we recommend that you just stab the needle right through the plastic of the grow bags. Of course, always use 70% isopropyl alcohol to sanitize a clean passageway for the needle, then cover with a piece of tape. This ensures that you are sealing the hole created by the needle. No sense in paying more for something that is more likely to fail.

If you are aiming to use jars for your own Liquid Culture production, we highly recommend properly installing Luer Lock ports. This allows for a clean screwed connection for syringes, without the need for a needle. Adding a bit of polypropylene tubing can ease the pulling process with many syringes. Though we cannot recommend enough that if you are getting serious about mushroom cultivation that you should purchase a Laminar Flow Hood, they are literally miracle machines.

RTV silicone and a 1/4’’ hole ought to do the trick! The first time I ever used, and believed in, “self-healing” injection ports it was on glass jars, filled with brown rice flour substrate. The mushroom growing community has aged, most of us purchase manufactured silicone injection ports. The smart ones use Luer lock ports.

For those not ready to take the plunge into owning a Laminar Flow Hood, syringes with needles are typically the recommended carrier for clean mycelium to colonize a solid substrate. Although syringes are excellent at keeping clean during the transfer, it is often the membrane they require passage through that likely will become the vector for future contamination. The needles used on Spore and Liquid Culture syringes are hollow-point needles. Since they are hollow in the center, and quite sharp. They remove material from whichever membrane they are passing through before ejecting its contents during transfer. This reason alone negates all efforts that any “self-healing” injection port may have for warding off contamination. Even on the first stab of a silicone injection port, the needle is removing material and causing an opening big enough for many common forms of contamination to pass into the uncolonized substrate.

Avoid the wasted time and contaminated substrate issues. If you are going to use needles to carry your cultures, we recommend that you just stab the needle right through the plastic of the grow bags. Of course, always use 70% isopropyl alcohol to sanitize a clean passageway for the needle, then cover with a piece of tape. This ensures that you are sealing the hole created by the needle. No sense in paying more for something that is more likely to fail.

If you are aiming to use jars for your own Liquid Culture production, we highly recommend properly installing Luer Lock ports. This allows for a clean screwed connection for syringes, without the need for a needle. Adding a bit of polypropylene tubing can ease the pulling process with many syringes. Though we cannot recommend enough that if you are getting serious about mushroom cultivation that you purchase a Laminar Flow Hood, they are literally miracle machines.

[Luer Lock ports to purchase](https://www.coleparmer.com/p/cole-parmer-vaplock-luer-adapters/81657)

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