Centrifuge 101: Best Practice Tips
08 Aug 2013
When operating a centrifuge, there are several actions you can take that will help ensure successful centrifugation. Here is a quick guide to help you keep your centrifuge process on track.
Using the right size tube for the correct centrifuge is imperative for the success of your analysis. There are many different types of centrifuges out there (see Labnet's quick reference guide to finding the right centrifuge, our Centrifuge Selection Guide), and knowing which one you need is very important. Since most tabletop centrifuges use 1.5mL tubes, you wouldn’t want to use a .5mL tube, unless you have an adapter equipped. If you don’t take the time to know what type of centrifuge you will be using, and what is the appropriate tube size, the tube might break and your sample ruined.
Balancing Your Centrifuge
Make sure you balance your tubes. If you’re placing two test tubes in your centrifuge, one sample being .5mL, and the other being 1mL, your results will not be precise. Once your tubes are at equal volume your next step is to balance them in your centrifuge. To do this, place your tube samples directly opposite each other. If you only have one sample, there is an easy solution. Take the same size tube, and fill it with the same amount as your sample, only with water.
Centrifuge Rotor LId
The next thing you’ll want to do, after you make sure your samples are the same volume and your tubes are balanced, is to secure the rotor lid. Once the lid is secured you can close the centrifuge (the lid may also have a lock mechanism in place).
Calculating Your Centrifuge Speed
Last, but certainly not least, is to check the settings on the centrifuge. Generally speaking there are two settings on most centrifuges: time and speed. When deciding what speed you’re going to use, you should always make sure it’s the correct speed for the tubes you are using. You don’t want the tubes to break. Here is a handy tool to help you calculate the right speed when using a centrifuge. http://www.sciencegateway.org/tools/rotor.htm
If you follow these centrifuge best practice tips, you will help ensure your success when using a centrifuge. To see what Labnet International can do for your business, visit our website to see all our laboratory equipment products, and be sure to check out our full line of centrifuges.