The spin on vortex mixers in five minutes or less.

The spin on vortex mixers in five minutes or less.

It turns out that one of my favorite low-tech toys is actually a critical piece of equipment found in most every laboratory.

The “Tornado in a Bottle,” a plastic sleeve connecting two water bottles to produce a swirling vortex action, is the same principle behind the popular and versatile laboratory vortex mixer.

Vortex mixers come in different configurations. They can be used to deliver quick blasts of energy to mix, shatter or disrupt solutions and cells, or perform prolonged acts of agitation to thoroughly blend substances together.

This article will introduce the reader to the Stellar Scientific line of vortex mixers that increase in power, complexity and precision.

The Benchmark Scientific Vornado is a simple, compact device that can fit in the palm of your hand. 

Like many vortex mixers, the Vornado springs into action when pressure is applied to its upper cup. With a maximum rpm rate of 2800, it is perfect for microtubes but will also mix larger 15 and 50mL tubes when pressure is sustained for a few seconds. You can personalize this unit with a choice of colors!

When higher capacity or a broader range of mixing is needed, the next tier of mixers would include the  Scientific Industries Vortex Genie 2:

the Benchmark Vortexer and Mortexer:

and the Labnet VX-200

Each of these devices come standard with the dimpled cap for microtubes, but also may be outfitted with a variety of head attachments. With these accessories multiple tubes or an entire microplate can be agitated at once.

A true standout in this category is the new Co-Mix by Vitl. 

The Co-Mix is the only laboratory instrument that incorporates both a plate/tube agitator as well as a standard tube mixer in one. This makes the Co-Mix uniquely suited for assays that require rapid shaking and transferring of liquids, such as is done in forensic laboratories.

What’s more, the Co-Mix sports a simple touch-screen interface and deep programming capacity that allows for superior control over the entire mixing process. Not only can the duration of a mix be programmed, so can the ramp up and down times. This results in a level of precision and replicability that is unparalleled.

While all of our vortex mixers are safe for use at room temperature and in cold rooms, when heat must be applied to create an incubating environment, then a different type of mixer is needed.

The Labnet Vortemp will hold up to fifty-six microtubes and agitate them at temperatures up to 99C,

while the Benchmark Scientific MyTherm HC

can be outfitted with a number of interchangeable blocks and is able to thermal cycle samples from 0C to 100C while mixing at a top speed of 1500 rpm.

The Incumixer MP is designed to hold two or four microplates 

(the four plate version can even work with deep-well plates), and also can achieve speeds of 1500 rpm. 

When you need to make an educated choice which mixing device is the right fit for your applications, give Stellar Scientific a call. We have the equipment and know-how to help you make the best choice.