Today’s health care environment demands that labs adopt new and unique approaches to the safe operation of clinical instruments. As an example, included in the CDC’s interim guidelines related to biosafety and COVID-19 is information on managing Procedures with a High Likelihood to Generate Droplets or Aerosols.1 The guidelines indicate that these procedures should be performed using a certified Class II biological safety cabinet (BSC) or with additional precautions that provide a barrier between the specimen and personnel. Among the additional precautions are the use of centrifuge safety cups and sealed centrifuge rotors. Fortunately, there are as many different combinations of centrifuge technology as there are individual labs in the US, so seek the best combination for your specific operations that help support good laboratory practices during these turbulent times. The following is a sampling of available centrifuges.
SMC 6plus from Sarstedt
Sarstedt’s SMC 6plus is a compact 6-place benchtop centrifuge featuring a swingout rotor for optimal horizontal separation of blood and urine specimens. The SMC 6plus has two preset spin programs with separate start buttons for blood tubes and for urine tubes; this simple operation eliminates the possibility of unintentional speed or time adjustment. The instrument’s brushless motor provides smooth and quiet operation, and safety features include a clear lid for visibility and an automatic lock. The SMC 6plus is designed to accommodate tubes with a maximum filling volume of 10 mL and maximum diameter of 17 mm.
GCC-S Clinical Centrifuge from Globe Scientific
The GCC-S Clinical Centrifuge from Globe Scientific is designed for numerous clinical applications, including separations and PRP methods. Offering ease of use and a variety features, the unit is simple to program with independent speed and time controls and an easy-to-read LED panel that displays the programmed variables. The timer will not count down until the set speed is reached to ensure separations work as intended. An audible alert function provides feedback when the user is outside the field of vision, and the manual door release is positioned on the side of the unit to ensure that it remains closed until access is desired. Featuring fast acceleration and deceleration, the system offers 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 adaptor sleeves and risers are included.
Universal 320 Centrifuge from Helmer Scientific
Helmer Scientific offers a wide range of Hettich centrifuges to accommodate the laboratory’s needs. The Universal 320 assists with workflow due to its capabilities as a mid-sized, general purpose, benchtop centrifuge. It provides consistent, accurate results for blood, urine, cell/tissue culture, plates, or cytology applications. The Universal 320R is also available with temperature control, featuring a fast-cool function that will lower the unit to +4°C in 10 to 15 minutes, saving valuable time spinning delicate samples. The centrifuge features all-steel construction and quiet operation. The self-closing, auto-locking lid with stay-in-place positioning and lid-drop protection ensures a safe, tight closure during operation. The Universal 320 has a maximum capacity of 4 x 100 mL/6 x 94 mL with a maximum speed of 15,000 RPM/21,392 RCF.
Micro 12 High Speed Microcentrifuge from EKF Diagnostics
The Micro 12 High Speed Centrifuge from EKF Diagnostics is a microcentrifuge, designed for clinical, molecular, and bacteriological applications. Ideal for small volume samples, quick spin downs, cell and bacteria separations, and various nucleic acid tests, it can be used to separate DNA due to its maximum spin speed of 14,000 rpm and a maximum relative centrifugal force of 16,000 g.
For use in busy labs where available space is a premium, the compact footprint of the centrifuge is the equivalent to an A4 sheet of paper. The brushless motor ensures quiet operation and as a high speed microcentrifuge, it can accommodate tubes up to 2 mL in diameter, as well as PCR strips with an adaptor. Furthermore, its airflow patterns help keep samples cool and the device is also cold-room compatible, enabling a range of additional applications.
Silencer Centrifuge from GFMD
The Silencer range of centrifuges from Global Focus can accommodate laboratories requiring a high-speed (5,497 RCF) STAT maintenance free centrifuge with a small footprint to a large-batch floor model (148 tubes) with refrigeration. Designed and manufactured in the United States, each unit features hyperdrive power protection for its brushless DC motors. The enclosed rotor chamber helps further reduce noise output and the device has user-defined speeds in RPM or RCF with multiple configuration presets. A dual safety lid interlock system and high-strength, see-through lids enable safety and ease of use. An end-of-run light option is available for all models and complimentary technical support and setup assistance are provided. The ELITE-H12 (pictured) displays the optional end-of-run light feature.
GCC-MP Multi-Purpose Clinical Centrifuge from Globe Scientific
The Globe Scientific GCC-MP Multi-Purpose Clinical Centrifuge is a large capacity centrifuge that can be used in a variety of clinical lab applications. With a wide selection of fixed rotors as well as a swingout rotor and buckets, it is compatible with nearly any tube typically found in the clinical lab environment and can be readily customized for various applications and methods. Safety features include door interlock, overspeed detection, over temperature detection, and imbalance protection. Its operation can be timed or momentary (pulse) and be set by speed or G-force; automatic rotor detection is also included.
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