A centrifuge is a lab equipment that is operated by an electric motor. To put an object in rotation, the electric motor applies a force that is perpendicular to the axis. Centrifuges come in different types and forms. For instance, there’s veterinary centrifuge and benchtop centrifuges.
Also known as tabletop centrifuges, benchtop centrifuges work in the same manner as regular centrifuges. The only difference is they are smaller and more compact. While animal clinics use a veterinary centrifuge, benchtop centrifuges are considered ideal for laboratories with limited space (i.e., clinical laboratories and mobile research facilities).
When it comes to usage, benchtop centrifuges can be used for various applications including sedimentation, filtration, and column chromatography. If you are considering buying one, below are some of the key factors you need to take into account:
Purpose and Speed
Benchtop centrifuges can vary in terms of speed. If you intend to use one for diagnostics, low-speed clinical centrifuges are ideal. For nucleic acid applications and whole-cell harvesting, high-speed instruments are recommended.
Some tabletops are classified under ultracentrifuges since they come with rotors that spin at very high speeds. The speed can range from 60,000 RPM and 200,000 x g to 150,000 RPM and 1,000,000 x g.
Some tabletop centrifuges accept swinging buckets or fixed-arm rotors. Depending on their make and type, some centrifuges can also be used for washing red blood cells or as cell washers.
It is recommended that you consider the application prior to purchasing a benchtop centrifuge. This is important so you can identify the core features (capacity, size, speed, and rotor type) that will best address your needs.
Floor centrifuges are bulky and can eat up space in laboratory facilities and clinics. If you have a smaller clinic, a tabletop centrifuge can be used for your sampling and diagnostics activities.
Benchtop centrifuges are also deemed ideal for diagnostic centres, temporary clinics, and other mobile facilities. Their compact size makes them very easy to set up in specific areas where you can use them with ease.