Laboratory Centrifuges- Their types and usage

Laboratory centrifuges are special equipment that is common in biological and pharmaceutical labs. It’s also widely used in microbiology labs. The laboratory centrifuges are special machines that can rotate objects or samples at high speed around a fixed axis. The machine has a cavity inside it to keep the samples. It applies a force perpendicular to the axis of spin and spins anything at a very fast speed.

Due to this fixed rotation, the molecules inside a sample move outwards in a circular direction. Hence, the denser molecules get sediment or may even stick in the bottom of the centrifuge tubes. The sedimentation is known as pellets. And, the clear solution obtained after centrifugation is called supernatant. The machine allows the researchers to differentiate two materials with similar densities. Additionally, it also allows the collection of insoluble particles in a dissolved solution. The working principle is known as the sedimentation principle.

In general, the centrifuge machines can spin for a certain time in a minute- called revolutions per minute or RPM. But, the acceleration depends on a rotor and even the motor and radii and angular momentum. Due to these factors, the RCFR or relative Centrifugal Force is the standard unit to mention the centrifuge’s power.

Laboratories can use different types of centrifuges. This are-

  • Micro centrifuge

Micro centrifuges are small and compact machines. It is best if a laboratory has limited space. Micro centrifuges are common in biological laboratories. In general, small tubes up top 2 ml size are used in the machine. It is best for separating nucleic acids, pelleting proteins from biological solutions. Additionally, micro centrifuges are also used to micro filter aqueous solutions.

  • Refrigerated Centrifuges
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Refrigerated centrifuges are used for heat-sensitive solutions. It comes with a refrigeration system that keeps the temperature below freezing point and also offers centrifugation. In general, the refrigerated centrifuges work in the temperature range or (-20℃) to (-40°C). The compartments of the machine can also be sealed on requirements. It is ideal for analyzing molecules like RNA, PCR, DNA, antibodies, etc.

The refrigerated centrifuges come with features like a swing bucket, fixed and or both of them. The models are also available in different sizes and can be used for different experiments and scientific works. Usually, refrigerated centrifuges are best for collecting items on a microscopic level. For example, it can swiftly sediment yeast cells, mitochondria, chloroplast, etc.

  • High-speed refrigerated centrifuges

It is the advanced and better type of refrigerated centrifuges. They can easily collect cellular debris like larger cell-organelles, proteins, micro-organisms, etc. through centrifugation. It has a higher centrifugal force and RCF rate to ensure swift work and sedimentation.

  • Ultracentrifuges

The ultracentrifuges are advanced laboratory centrifuges with high acceleration power. An ultracentrifuge can easily generate high acceleration power up to 100000g. It is best for separating smaller and very tiny molecules. It is often used to separate nucleic acids, single proteins, etc. Ultracentrifuge is commonly seen in microbiological labs.

  • There are two types of Ultracentrifuges-
    • Preparative Ultracentrifuges

Preparative centrifuges are ideal for separating particles according to their densities or isolating particles for pellet collection. It can also clarify suspensions with particles. It helps isolate acro-proteins and lipoproteins from plasma and can also de-protons physiological fluids (for collecting amino acids).

  • Analytical ultracentrifuges
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The analytical ultracentrifuges have light-based optical detection features. It provides real-time monitoring of the samples during centrifugation. The clear display allows the user to check the sedimentation procedure, and they can also collect sedimentation by increasing centrifugal force.

Additionally, some models also have alternative Schlieren systems and Rayleigh interferometric systems to offer centrifugation.

  • Iso
  • pycnic centrifuges

It is also known as buoyant density centrifugation. The machine uses buoyancy to separate molecules according to their density. Density gradients like sucrose or Prcoll are used for collecting items. The sample is put over this solution, and the centrifuge machine is switched on for a long time (even for more than a day). The prolonged centrifugation allows the molecules of the sample solution to form sharp and distinct bands. The centrifugation is so powerful that it can even separate different molecule isotopes with efficiency.

Centrifugation is an essential procedure in biology and chemistry research. The larger-scale models have industry applications also. Some centrifuges are also used for space science and research. The smaller ones are often found in laboratories that conduct experiments and research. Then there are also small and micro centrifuges that are compact and are mobile and easy to handle. has a wide collection of different types of centrifuges for laboratories. You can check their official website to find the model that suits your requirement.

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