Centrifuges take central position among the lab equipment in both diagnostic and research labs. They come as bench-top and floor models, the former ideal for use in small labs and doctors’ offices.
Centrifuges have now evolved to serve sophisticated molecular and genetic research applications which demand very high speeds and more precise controls. In fact, high-speed centrifuging is a necessary for substance fractionation, and it is this very element that poses the risk. Liquids and gases spinning in a steel vessel at hundreds of rpm (revolutions per minute) can rupture. There are instances when centrifuge rotors have failed, causing explosions, damaging both lab and lab workers.
Unbalanced loads can cause damage to seals and other components. The solution is to keep the lid closed during use and shut down in the event of noise or vibration. Broken tubes are another issue, so always check the tubes and discard them if you notice signs of stress.
Minimize Risk – Choose Wisely
Rotor safety depends on factors such as brand and design, handling during use and maintenance, including retirement following damage or extensive wear and tear. To minimize the risk involved in centrifugation, be discerning when you buy your centrifuge. Consider options such as the new Octafuge VI-AT Centrifuge, a device capable of handling all bench top applications and described as ‘virtually indestructible’. The Octafuge VI-AT comes with a range of features which makes it one of the safest models to have in a small laboratory or physician’s office:
• Tough ABS/Lexan construction to withstand the rigors of daily use and ensure durability
• Transparent Lexan lid with safety interlock to limit exposure to harmful substances
• Sealed domed lids with no exposed moving parts
• Lexan tube holders that can be removed and sterilized
• Self-contained one piece head prevents tubes from falling through
• Octacool System for operating temperature control and prevention of excessive heating, regardless of how long the unit runs
The handy Octafuge VI-AT also ensures whisper quiet operation and is lightweight, compact, and portable. With all these features and options such as an electronic timer and unique breaking system to smoothly stop the centrifuge under 30 seconds, the Octafuge VI-AT seems to be just what the doctor ordered – when it comes to centrifuges and lab safety!