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Bench-Top Centrifuges--Basic Tools for the Small Lab


No matter how elementary or advanced, every clinical laboratory possesses one essential devicea centrifuge. It may be a bench-top or floor model, refrigerated or non-cooled, but this apparatus, because of its unique ability to fractionate liquid specimens by creating spin-induced high g-forces, has long been a standard tool for both diagnosis and research applications. For all this utility, these machines are true workhorses, usually providing trouble-free service for many thousands of cycles over many years of steady use.

For those considering a replacement or initial purchase, however, here is a brief overview of several of the most popular bench-top models suitable for the small laboratory. All are manufactured by medical device firms with longstanding reputations for quality and reliability.

At the entry point of its centrifuge line, the Drucker Company, Philipsburg, Penn., produces the Model 614B as its most affordable basic centrifuge. The device is designed for the small lab or doctors office and, the company says, is the quietest small lab centrifuge on the market today. The 45-degree angle rotor will hold six test tubes of up to 15ml (up to 17mm x 125mm). The unit has a lid safety switch and is UL/CSA compliant. It includes a 30-minute timer, a double encased, brushless motor and a clear lid with a safety switch.

Thermo Electron Corporation, Milford, Mass., characterizes its Medilite microcentrifuge as the ideal choice for routine, low-volume centrifugation of blood and urine. Each Medilite comes complete with a 45-degree angle rotor and a full set of standard shields.

The device is designed with an integral 30-minute timer and accepts a variety of tube sizes up to 15 mL. This centrifuge also features a maintenance-free brushless motor and incorporates a power interrupt design for user safety. Optional aero-shields are available for aerosol containment

BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company), Franklin Lakes, N.J., m
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