Buyer's Guide: Centrifuges


October 2019 - Vol. 8 No. 9 - Page #12

The use of centrifuge technology is critical in clinical laboratories for the separation blood cells from serum/plasma and sediment from urine, to measure the volume fraction of erythrocytes in blood (the hematocrit), and to separate bound from free components in protein binding and immunoprocedures. In more esoteric lab operations, centrifugation is necessary for separation (and subsequent measurement) of lipoproteins, separation of cellular components, and separation of DNA fragments.

In today’s clinical chemistry laboratories, high capacity horizontal head or swinging bucket units, wherein the specimen tubes are spun at a 90° angle to the shaft of the rotor, are the most common. In addition, temperature-controlled centrifuges that maintain a temperature of 4°C are used to preserve the integrity of thermolabile analytes, which can be adversely affected by the heat generated by most devices during the centrifugation process. The safety and efficiency of modern clinical centrifuges continue to improve as total spin times continue to diminish. The speed and dependency that centrifuges bring to the lab make them an invaluable technology in an automated environment.


The LC 24E Centrifuge from Sarstedt is designed to operate at high speed and g-force to yield platelet-poor plasma with simple start/stop operation. The centrifuge features an electronic timer for precise spin times from 1 to 30 minutes. The swing-out rotor provides easy sample loading and uniform separation for maximum serum or plasma volume. The supplied rotor accommodates up to 24 test tubes (17 x 100 mm); additional rotors and carriers are available for added versatility. The instrument’s brushless DC motor requires no maintenance. Safety features include a clear lid for sample visibility and an automatic lid lock.


The GCC-S Clinical Centrifuge from Globe Scientific has been designed for numerous clinical and research applications, including separations and PRP methods. The GCC-S is user-friendly, easily programmable with independent speed and time controls, and features an LED panel that displays the programmed variables. The timer will not count down until the set speed is reached to ensure that separations and experiments work as intended. An audible alert function provides feedback when user is outside the field of vision, and the manual door release is positioned on the side of the unit to ensure the it remains closed until access is desired. The system features fast acceleration and deceleration with a speed range of 300 to 4500 rpm. Safety features include door interlock and excessive speed detection.

The included twelve-position, fixed angle rotor accommodates 5 mL, 7 mL, or 10 mL culture or blood collection tubes and up to eight 15 mL centrifuge tubes. All required adapter sleeves and risers are included.


The BLC-40D High-Speed Centrifuge from Aiken is designed for separating micro-amounts of blood or solution and accurately measuring the specific value of blood cells as well as other applications in the clinical laboratory. Operating features include a brushless motor, microprocessor controller, LED displays for time and speed, over-speed and imbalance alarms, and a mechanical door lock and safety switch. The system accurately measures the specific value of the blood cell, separating micro-amounts of specific values. Other features include stepless speed adjustment, error code indicator, microprocessors or controller, and up to 16,000 rpm maximum speed.


The PDQ Platelet Function Centrifuge from Bio/Data Corporation is dedicated to the standardization of platelet sample preparation, reducing processing time to 5 minutes. Platelet-rich plasma is available in 30 seconds, platelet-poor plasma in 120 seconds, and platelet-free plasma in 180 seconds. The three process cycles offer greater control and sample standardization without any measurable platelet activation. This small footprint (7-inch diameter) centrifuge allows the laboratory to locate the sample preparation process next to the platelet aggregometer for greater convenience and improved turnaround time. The compact design provides for quiet and vibration-free operation, and its four-position rotor accepts evacuated specimen collection and aliquot tubes. The PDQ is an ideal companion accessory for Bio/Data Corporation’s PAP-8E Platelet Aggregometer, as well as other light transmission aggregometers. Each PDQ is shipped as a complete system consisting of a start-up supply kit, methods manual, operation manual, sample tube rack, and a validation certificate.


The GCM-R-24 Refrigerated Microcentrifuge from Globe Scientific offers refrigerated control for temperature-sensitive samples. Suitable for various applications, including molecular biology, chemistry, and more, the GCM-R-24 has an intuitive button and knob interface for quick programming; a high-strength, 24-place aluminum alloy rotor with biosafety aerosol containment lid (all of which can be fully autoclaved); a powerful yet quiet compressor for fast, accurate temperature control; and more. The GCM-R-24 can cool its rotor chamber and samples down to 4°C within 7 minutes of operation, even at maximum speed and capacity. A pre-cooling feature ensures optimal protection of the sample before operation, and the dual lid lock function ensures that samples are kept at temperature even after centrifugation is complete.

Additional features include intermittent temperature control mode, speed/RCF switch, quick spin function, and audible alert function. Safety features include over-temperature detection, excessive speed detection, and automatic internal diagnostics. The GCM-R-24 utilizes CFC-free refrigerant.


The General Purpose Pro Centrifuge Series from Thermo Fisher Scientific is designed to provide medical laboratories with a user-friendly cell separation solution that complies with the latest global clinical and safety standards. The centrifuges feature a full-color touchscreen interface that provides easy visibility of pre-stored protocols, temperature control, and system health checks for improved laboratory efficiencies. The advanced components of the centrifuges deliver fast separations (up to 6300 rpm) and ensure repeatability with up to 100 saved programs that can be navigated by laboratory members with any experience level. The ergonomically advanced, industrial design enables the quick and safe change of any of the 19 rotor types in just 3 seconds through the Auto-Lock Rotor Exchange function. This means a laboratory can process up to 196 blood tubes per run depending on the rotor selected, and also makes the centrifuge easier to clean, limiting potential biohazard contamination in future applications.


The SMC 6 from Sarstedt is an economical, 6-place benchtop centrifuge featuring a swing-out rotor for optimal horizontal separation of blood specimens. The centrifuge has a preset spin program for simple operation that eliminates the possibility of unintentional speed or time adjustment. A SMC 6plus model is also available with a second preset centrifugation option for spinning urine samples.

The instrument’s brushless motor provides smooth and quiet operation and aims to be virtually maintenance-free. Safety features include a clear lid for sample visibility and an automatic lock. The SMC 6 is designed to accommodate tubes with a maximum filling volume of 10 mL and maximum diameter of 17 mm.

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