Control of Microbial Growth: Explore decontamination and selective toxicity

Time to complete course: 54 min.

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About Control of Microbial Growth: Explore decontamination and selective toxicity Virtual Lab Simulation

What would you do if the first line treatment for an infection stopped working? How can you do your part to control infection spread in a clinical setting? In this simulation, you will work alongside a dentist to investigate a potentially deadly tooth infection and figure out how to control the spread of microbes using decontamination and sterilization processes.

Test antimicrobial compounds using diffusion disc assays

To discover the reason for the patient’s persistent infection, you will use a diffusion disc assay to investigate the sensitivity of a bacterial infection to a first line treatment. Closely related to the widely recognized Kirby Bauer assay, the diffusion disc assay will allow you to determine the effectiveness of antimicrobial compounds. By taking the lead in the technical set-up, data acquisition and interpretation parts of the assay you’ll develop a scientifically critical approach to experimentation. Using the virtual lab reduces assay processing time from two days to only a few minutes—a truly focused and engaging experience!

Holographically visualise bacterial growth and death

3D holograms exploring bacterial colony growth in the presence and absence of selectively toxic compounds support your diffusion disc assay investigations.The antimicrobial mechanisms of cell death and the development of resistance will be demonstrated in real-time to create 3D visualizations of these abstract processes.

Share your discoveries

After investigating the patient’s case and critiquing the available decontamination methods available in the lab, June the Dentist is curious about what you’ve done and discovered. What can be revealed about the patient’s infection? Can your patient be saved?

Get Started Now

A dental patient’s recurrent infection is becoming dangerously septic. Your task is to investigate the cause using diffusion disc assays and prevent further cases by exploring sterilization, decontamination, and selectively toxic infection control methods.

Techniques in Lab

  • Diffusion Disc Assays
  • Decontamination methods
  • Sterilization techniques

Learning Objectives

At the end of this simulation, you will be able to…

  • Explain how and why microbial colonization occurs
    • Recognize potential sources of contamination.
    • Describe the consequences of unregulated population growth.
    • Describe the ideal environments for microbial growth and how they can be manipulated.
  • Appreciate different levels of selective toxicity
    • Describe modes of microorganism growth control.
    • Define selective toxicity and what it means for host organisms.
    • Differentiate between disinfectants, antiseptics, and antimicrobials.
  • Explain the utility of antimicrobial agents
    • Appreciate why different antimicrobials are effective against different infections.
    • Select an appropriate antimicrobial to target a given microorganism.
    • Compare the effectiveness of different antimicrobial compounds.

Simulation Features

Length – 54 minutes
Accessibility mode – Not Available
Languages – English

Examples of Related Standards


Life Science related 1st year onwards


No direct alignment


B.1 Microbiology: organisms in industry


No direct alignment

Screenshots of Control of Microbial Growth: Explore decontamination and selective toxicity Virtual Lab Simulation


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