A Centrifuge Is a Critical Piece of Laboratory Equipment – What Are The Differences Between a Micro Centrifuge And A Universal Centrifuge?

A Centrifuge Is a Critical Piece of Laboratory Equipment – What Are The Differences Between a Micro Centrifuge And A Universal Centrifuge?

No matter what type of life-science laboratory you operate, a centrifuge plays a critical role in sample preparation.

A laboratory centrifuge applies centrifugal forces to separate the sample into components based on density.

This same gravitational force can also be used to purify samples by forcing them through a straining membrane at high speeds.

In general, the choice of centrifuge is determined by the type of sample being prepared and the desired outcome from the application of centrifugal force.

A micro centrifuge is typically defined as a piece of benchtop lab equipment for spinning small volumes of samples at a time.

A routine benchtop micro centrifuge may come with a pre-installed fixed-angle rotor to spin twenty-four micro centrifuge tubes with a total volume capacity of less than 50mL.

This is usually identified as a 24 x 1.5/2.0mL rotor.

Due to their compact size, micro centrifuges offer limited rotor options but innovative manufacturers like Hermle are introducing rotors for 5mL tubesrotors for silica column tubes used to extract DNA and RNA and combination rotors that spin microtubes and PCR strip tubes at the same time.

Some micro centrifuges are specially designed to spin a few PCR plates at a time. These plate centrifuges have become prized pieces of laboratory equipment during the pandemic for preparing qPCR tests.

Micro centrifuges have variable speed settings which let them perform basic work like quick “spin-downs” to drive liquid droplets to the bottom of a micro centrifuge tube, or more powerful work like nucleic acid purification and extraction.

As its name implies, a universal centrifuge is designed for modularity to work in a much wider range of laboratory settings and applications.

A universal centrifuge can accommodate both high-speed, fixed angle and low-speed, swing-out rotors separately.

A universal centrifuge generally has greater overall capacity with larger units capable of spinning 4L at a time.

Universal centrifuges spin a wide variety of vessels including blood bags, 250mL, 500mL or 1L sized bottles and all the smaller micro centrifuge tubes as well.

Universal centrifuges are strong enough to shred apart cellular matter and gentle enough to prepare a patient’s blood sample for screening.

Both micro centrifuges and universal centrifuges can be designed to use room air to maintain the sample temperature or incorporate a compressor to keep sensitive samples at precisely 4C throughout the duration of the sample prep.

Most micro centrifuges and some smaller universal centrifuges can be shipped using UPS or FedEx parcel, but almost all refrigerated centrifuges require freight delivery because they must be securely fixed to a stable pallet to protect the compressor.

Turn to Stellar Scientific when searching for reliable laboratory equipment like centrifuges.

Stellar Scientific offers German made Hermle lab centrifuges featuring an industry best five-year comprehensive warranty.

Hermle micro centrifuges and Hermle universal centrifuges deliver years of precise service and will make any laboratory a better place to work.