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Daily use of centrifuges in the laboratory

October 19,2023

In order to use the laboratory centrifuge correctly and ensure the safety and accuracy of your experiments, here are the basic operations of the centrifuge:

Opening and closing steps

1.Opening steps

(1) Check whether the power supply and accessories of the centrifuge are complete, and make sure that the centrifuge is on a stable working surface.

(2) Open the lid or door of the centrifuge and check that the centrifuge's turntable or rotor is clean and undamaged. If necessary, use appropriate methods for cleaning and maintenance.

(3) Select appropriate rotors and centrifuge tubes according to the needs of the experiment and install them on the centrifuge's turntable. Ensure that the rotor and centrifuge tube are securely mounted, balanced, and meet the specifications of the centrifuge.

(4) Close the lid or door of the centrifuge and lock it to ensure safety during operation.


2.Shut down steps

(1) At the end of the centrifuge work, first stop the centrifuge operation. According to the model of the centrifuge, select the appropriate stop button or program to ensure that the centrifuge stops smoothly and to avoid any impact on the experimental results.

(2) Open the lid or door of the centrifuge and carefully remove the rotor and centrifuge tube. Dispose of the sample and waste liquid in the centrifuge tube using the designated method.

(3) Inspect the centrifuge's carousel or rotor for contamination or damage and perform necessary cleaning and maintenance.

(4) Close the lid or door of the centrifuge and disconnect or turn off the power to the centrifuge.

Sample loading and removal methods

1.Sample loading

First, make sure the drum and rotor of the centrifuge are clean and free of any dirt or residue. Clean the drum and rotor using an appropriate method (e.g., cleaning cloth or dust-free cotton balls). Next, select the appropriate loading method based on the centrifuge's rotor type and specifications. There are usually two common methods, direct loading and tube sleeve loading.

For the direct loading method, place the sample directly in the rotor slot of the drum and make sure the sample is evenly distributed to avoid imbalance. For tube sleeve loading, the sample is loaded individually into centrifuge tubes or sample tubes, and the tube sleeves are inserted into the loading slots of the drum. Again, make sure the samples are evenly distributed and unbalanced.

2. Sample Removal

Always wait for the centrifuge to come to a complete stop and reduce speed before removing the sample. Once the centrifuge has stopped, slowly open the lid of the centrifuge. If the tube sleeve loading method is used, remove the sleeve from the drum first, then remove the sample or centrifuge tube from the sleeve. Handle with care to avoid sample leakage or cross-contamination. If the direct loading method is used, be careful not to touch other parts or the sample when removing the sample from the drum. After removing the sample, proceed to the next step as needed for the experiment. If needed, the sample can be transferred to another container using appropriate tools or equipment.


Rotation speed and time setting guidelines

RPM is the speed at which the centrifuge barrel rotates, while the time setting refers to the length of time the centrifuge runs.

When using a centrifuge, the first thing you need to do is to determine the appropriate RPM based on experimental needs and sample characteristics. Too high a rotational speed may lead to sample overflow or instability of the centrifuge, while too low a rotational speed may not achieve the desired centrifugal effect. Therefore, the rotational speed should be set according to the model of the centrifuge and the nature of the samples to make a reasonable choice. Generally speaking, for routine samples, the speed range of low-speed centrifuges is 1000-4000 rpm, while high-speed centrifuges can reach more than 12000 rpm.

Regarding the time setting, the centrifugation time should be determined according to the needs of the experiment and the characteristics of the samples. Different sample types and requirements will have different centrifugation time requirements. Typically, centrifugation time is generally 10-15 minutes for fine cell sedimentation and 20-30 minutes for separation of solids. It is important to note that the centrifuge should not be stopped immediately after centrifugation, but should be turned on after the centrifuge drum has completely stopped rotating.

(D) Precautions for safe operation

(1) Preparation of working environment: Make sure the centrifuge is placed on a smooth countertop, away from flammable materials and chemicals.

(2) Centrifuge Tube Use: Choose a suitable centrifuge tube and make sure it is well closed to prevent sample leakage during centrifugation.

(3) Sample balancing: Before installing the sample, make sure the centrifuge's turntable is balanced to avoid unnecessary vibration and noise.

(4) Rotation speed selection: according to the nature of the sample and the specification of the centrifuge, select the appropriate rotation speed to ensure the normal operation of the centrifuge.

(5) Time control: set the appropriate centrifugation time to avoid damage to the sample caused by too long or too short centrifugation time.

(6) Acceleration and deceleration control: Gradually increase or decrease the rotational speed of the centrifuge when starting and stopping the centrifuge to avoid sample overflow or damage.

(7) Monitoring centrifuge operation: During centrifugation, maintain visual monitoring of the centrifuge's operating status to detect abnormalities and take appropriate measures in a timely manner.

(8) Operation after completion of centrifugation: after completion of centrifugation, stop the operation of the centrifuge, and then carefully remove the centrifuge tube to avoid damage to the sample or injury to themselves.

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