Today’s health care environment demands that labs adopt new and unique approaches to the safe operation of clinical instruments. As an example, for well over a year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have regularly updated their Interim Laboratory Biosafety Guidelines for Handling and Processing Specimens associated with COVID-19.1 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 and help support good laboratory practices during these turbulent times. The following is a sampling of laboratory centrifuges on the market.
MagFuge Centrifuge from Health Care Logistics
MagFuge from Health Care Logistics is a combination high-speed centrifuge and magnetic stirrer with a compact, low-profile design for use in labs with height restrictions or limited space. Because of its multi-function capabilities, users can centrifuge multiple tube sizes in a single unit. Multiple stirring modes are possible and both speed and time are adjustable. Rotor magnets ensure strong coupling and greatly reduce the risk of spinouts even after several hours of continuous use. Likewise, the motor remains cool to consistently preserve sample quality and the unit’s low noise level helps eliminate distractions in the lab. MagFuge is complete with two silicone mats to help prevent spills and keep the unit stable.
GCH-24 Microhematocrit Centrifuge from Globe Scientific Inc
The GCH-24 Hematocrit Centrifuge from Globe Scientific allows labs to determine erythrocyte fractions in blood as well as microsolution separations when using the included 24-place capillary rotor. The included rotor lids are designed to enhance user safety and facilitate removal or replacement. The backlit LCD display, control buttons, and parameter adjustment knob contribute to ease of operation. To help ensure accurate results, the timer will not begin a countdown until the programmed speed is reached. The setpoint can be set by G-Force or RPM.
UNIVERSAL 320 | 320 R from Hettich Instruments
The UNIVERSAL 320 | 320 R benchtop centrifuge occupies 15.5 inches of bench space, with or without refrigeration. Capable of spinning various standard tubes, plates, cytology clips, and bottles (up to 200 mL), the centrifuge aims to offer all-in-one capability; the UNIVERSAL 320 can accommodate multiple applications, including cytology, in the same centrifuge.
Hettich Mikro 200 Centrifuge from Helmer Scientific
Helmer Scientific offers quality centrifuges from Hettich that are designed to accommodate the needs of the clinical laboratory. The Mikro 200 is a high-speed microcentrifuge that includes multiple rotors and accessories, making it a versatile addition to the laboratory as a primary or backup centrifuge. As a low-cost alternative for lipemia removal in serum/plasma samples, it can clear lipemic samples with no reagents or additives in as little as one 15-minute spin at the recommended RCF. The Mikro 200 features all steel construction and quiet operation, allowing samples to be processed in house. The system’s maximum capacity is 30 x 1.5/2.0 mL with a maximum speed of 15,000 RPM/21,382 RCF. A refrigerated version, Mikro 200 R, is also available.
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.
Benchtop Centrifuge 8HC from Cardinal Health
The Cardinal Health Benchtop Centrifuge 8HC is designed to optimize bench space and maximize capacity with a compact footprint. Its swing-out ability allows operators to process up to 8 x 50 mL conical tubes, and 24 x 5/7 mL blood tubes and microtubes. One-touch operation with presaved protocols and a backlit display make for easy reading of parameters across the lab. The auto-lock rotor exchange provides secure push-button application versatility and cleaning convenience, and ClickSeal biocontainment lids provide one-handed sample protection.
Sorvall ST4 F Plus and Megafuge ST4 Plus from Thermo Fisher Scientific
The Thermo Scientific Sorvall ST4 F Plus and Megafuge ST4 Plus centrifuges are designed to address a full spectrum of clinical protocol requirements. As floor-standing models, they aim to enhance placement flexibility in any size clinical laboratory, and the TX-1000 rotor maximizes capacity for up to 196 x 5/7 mL blood tubes.
GCC-MP Multi-Purpose Clinical Centrifuge from Globe Scientific Inc
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.
HORIZON 6 Flex from Cardinal Health
The Cardinal Health HORIZON 6 Flex offers control over cycle parameters in a benchtop footprint. The user can program up to 10 custom presets, or utilize the digital display to customize run time, speed, and braking as needed. Cycle status can be tracked with LED lid lighting, which stays steady when the centrifuge is running, flashes when tubes are ready to be unloaded, and turns off when the centrifuge is ready for its next load. Furthering to help cycle progress tracking, once the spin begins, the digital display becomes a countdown clock. The centrifuge can spin up to 6 tubes from 3 mL to 10 mL (75 mm to 100 mm) with no need to change rotor or tube holders. The rotor and tube holders allow samples to be loaded vertically and then swing out to spin horizontally.
ROTANTA 460 | 460 R | 460 RF from Hettich Instruments
At a 4-liter capacity per run, the Hettich ROTANTA 460, ROTANTA 460 R, and ROTANTA 460 RF are versatile general-purpose centrifuges that can process samples for a variety of applications. The line’s Versa-Rotor supports high-volume, high-capacity processing of tubes, plates, bottles, flasks, and pediatric blood bags, with the same swing-out rotor. The ROTANTA 460 accommodates a high-speed plate rotor that reaches an RCF of 6,446 and is available as an air-ventilated or refrigerated benchtop centrifuge, or a floor model to help save bench space. The ROTANTA 460 RF floor model offers the appropriate height for loading and unloading samples. All centrifuges offer a large capacity, a vast range of accessories, and application versatility, along with a 5-year warranty.
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