Scientific extractors are essential instruments used in various laboratories worldwide to separate materials based on their density. The high-speed spinning of a centrifuge creates a centrifugal force that separates substances into their components.
In the laboratory setting, extractors are commonly used in medical, biology, and chemistry laboratories to isolate components of blood, cells, and other substances. They are also used in industrial settings to separate liquids and solids, purify chemicals, and test the mechanical properties of materials.
There are different types of extractors, each designed to perform specific tasks, so choosing the right one for your laboratory needs is essential. This guide will cover the different types of laboratory extractors and the factors to consider when choosing one.
Types of Lab Extractors
Microcentrifuges are small benchtop extractors that typically spin small samples, such as those found in medical or biological labs. They come in various sizes, with maximum speeds ranging from 10,000 to 15,000 RPM.
- Benchtop Extractors
Benchtop extractors are larger than microcentrifuges and are commonly used to spin larger samples, such as blood or tissue samples. They have maximum speeds ranging from 10,000 to 20,000 RPM and can simultaneously hold multiple tubes or bottles.
- Floor Extractors
Floor extractors are large, freestanding and typically used in industrial or research settings. They have maximum speeds ranging from 10,000 to 50,000 RPM and can hold large quantities of material.
Ultracentrifuges are specialized extractors that can spin samples at high speeds, up to 120,000 RPM. They are commonly used in biochemistry, virology, and molecular biology to analyze large quantities of material and isolate components based on size and weight.
Factors to Consider When Choosing An Extractor
The maximum speed of an extractor is an essential factor to consider when choosing one. The maximum speed determines the centrifugal force that can be generated and the types of samples that can be separated.
- Temperature Control
Some samples, such as blood or tissue samples, require precise temperature control during the spinning process. Look for an extractor that offers temperature control options, such as a refrigerated unit or temperature-controlled rotors.
- Programmable Settings
Programmable settings, such as speed, time, acceleration and deceleration, can save you time and increase accuracy in your spinning process. Look for an extractor that offers these options to make your work more efficient.
Ensure that the extractor you choose is compatible with the samples and tubes you will use. For example, if you use microcentrifuge tubes, ensure that the extractor can hold them.
Maintenance and Care
Proper maintenance and care of your extractor are essential to ensure it runs smoothly and safely. Here are some tips for maintaining your extractor:
- Regular cleaning: Regular cleaning of the extractor, including the rotor and accessories, is essential to keep it in good working condition.
- Calibration: Regular calibration of the extractor’s speed and temperature control systems can help ensure accurate results.
- Storage: Store the extractor in a clean, dry place to prevent damage and contamination.
- Proper use: Always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for proper use and handling of the extractor to avoid damage or injury.
Extractors are essential instruments in various laboratory settings, and choosing the right one is crucial to the success of your work. Consider factors such as speed, capacity, temperature control, safety features, programmable settings, compatibility, and price when choosing a centrifuge. Proper maintenance and care of your centrifuge will ensure it runs smoothly and safely for years.