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All You Need to Know About Laboratory Centrifuge Types
All You Need to Know About Laboratory Centrifuge Types

Tech Updates

All You Need to Know About Laboratory Centrifuge Types 

 Laboratory centrifuges are motor controlled devices whose main function is the separation of liquid components while in the lab. The application of laboratory centrifuge devices includes hospitals and major research facilities and scientific labs. Its functionality is greatly dependent on the principle of sedimentation. This principle is clear that in cases where centripetal acceleration forces denser materials to shift towards a radial direction. When the machine is spinning, massive force is created which alternatively causes denser materials in a liquid to move outwards while the less dense materials in the liquid settle in the middle. 

Micro-centrifuge tube varies in its size which is, of course, dependent on the function they serve. The two main types are the manual and automatic centrifuges where one uses electricity while the others can be manually operated to cause the separating effect. The materials in the fluid are separated depending on their actual size, viscosity, and even their respective shapes. Find out below more details regarding the types of laboratory centrifuges available today and what they can do. 


This type of microcentrifuge tube is made with a compact design and are often made in small tubes ranging between 0.2 ml to 2.0 ml. Even though they are the most preferred for the small-sized tubes, they could be availed with special rotor adapters. These rotors can be switched to serve different sized tubes. It is mostly preferred for the small labs since it takes very little space on the working bench. The main uses of micro-centrifuges include pelleting a number of substances like nucleic acids, protein from mixtures and even microfiltration of rather small aqueous fluids.

Refrigerated Centrifuges 

These are the centrifuges that work on samples that need a consistent temperature range. For them, the best result is attained when it is run on its full speed while ensuring you have a consistent temperature all through the process. The temperatures may range between -200 C and -400 C and that makes them very viable to do DNA, PCR, and even RNA analysis.

This type of centrifuge can rotate to a maximum of 30,000 rounds every minute creating a substantial centrifugal force of about 65,000 x g. These devices are made both in smaller and larger sizes depending on the area of their application. The parts may, however, differ since these applications might come with different swing buckets or fixed angles and sometimes with both. If you observe keenly you will notice that chambers of a refrigerated centrifuge are normally sealed in order to attain the material conditions.

High-Speed Refrigerated Centrifuges

These are centrifuges that have a refrigeration capability and centrifuge speed of about 60,000 g. The force created by the device is thus powerful enough to allow for separation of cellular debris, cell organelles and even protein in certain cases. They are also manufactured in different sizes depending on how the user may want to apply it. Some are even made with different holding capabilities of the user. You can, therefore, choose your ideal high-speed refrigerated centrifuge depending on where and how you are going to use it.


These are centrifuges that have been optimized in order to attain very high speed. Their acceleration could be estimated to be about 1,000,000 g which can roughly be converted to 9,800 km/s2. Other centrifuges often offer low rotating speed thus limiting efficiency but not ultracentrifuges which can do proteins and nucleic acids separation without much hassle. There are two main types of ultracentrifuges which are listed below.

Preparative Ultracentrifuge 

This is a centrifuge type that offers about 600,000 g worth of centrifugal force. Their importance is greatly recognized for the separation of different particles depending on their densities. This makes them very essential in the separation of macromolecules, lipoprotein fractions and de-protonation of different physiological fluids when analyzing amino acids. You can also change the rotors fixed on these appliances depending on the project you are working with.

Analytical Ultracentrifuge

This centrifugal equipment greatly differs from all its counterparts. It has the ability to incorporate scanning lights in its optical detention systems. This is very helpful in observing the separation first hand as the rotating speed is increased. You can see the entire sedimentation process unfold before your eyes and see how the different samples sediment especially when you the centrifugal force amplifies.

Most analytical ultracentrifuge equipment can operate up to a maximum of 500,000g. Among the most commonly used optical system for these gadgets are light absorption system and alternative Schlieren systems.

Most centrifuge rotors can be changed depending on the task at hand. There are many designs and types of rotors that you could use for your equipment today. Make an effort and find information on the different rotor types as you may find them relevant before using the centrifuge in the lab.

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