The device used to separate the components of glasses or fluids via the principle of sedimentation is called a centrifuge. Nowadays, it is considered an essential equipment in medical technology. A centrifuge is particularly helpful when handling and processing biological specimens for clinical applications.
Clinical centrifuges work in the same way as other types of centrifuges. However, clinical centrifuges have specific functions and features that are designed primarily for medical use. For instance, a clinical centrifuge is used for the quick production of platelet rich plasma and platelet poor plasma.
Clinical centrifuges are also used for component separation of urea, serum, and blood samples in research facilities and hospitals. Clinical centrifuges are also a common fixture in diagnostic centres since they often carry out routine separation activities.
Aside from separating blood components like red and white blood cells and plasma, centrifuges are also used to extract sediment from urine and distinguish bound from free components in protein binding. In some instances, clinical centrifuges are also used to separate DNA fragments as well as other cell components.
Since clinical centrifuges are used for routine separation of particles, they are low speed. Among the many standout features of clinical centrifuges include:
- Low speed range (operates at a maximum speed of 4,000 to 5,000 rpm
- Operates under room temperature (they also don’t come with a system of controlling temperature and speed during operation)
- Uses fixed-angle type rotors and swinging buckets
- Has a compact design and built (ideal for blood serum samples and blood analysis)
Since clinical centrifuges are designed to handle delicate specimens, they come equipped with built-in safeguards to prevent any unwanted spills. Clinical centrifuges also have manual timer settings.
Cleaning the centrifuge regularly is recommended to avoid any risk of sample contamination. It is also recommended that the tubes are balanced by placing them in front of each other in the centrifuge as it might affect the results of the separation process.