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Centrifuge Types, Applications, and How to Choose Centrifuge Rotors and Tubes

   |  June 16, 2023

Common Centrifuge Types

The common equipment used for centrifugation is centrifuge, which is designed to accelerate the settling velocity by using the centrifugal force generated by the motor.
There are three common methods of centrifugations: sedimentation centrifugation, differential centrifugation, and density gradient centrifugation.
Read More: Common Approaches for Centrifugation in the Laboratory

As one of the most common laboratory equipment,centrifuges can be used in a variety of fields, including research, medical industry, food and agricultural fields. Based on the speed, capacity, and applications, they are classified into different types as below table.

By SpeedBy IndustryBy Capacity
Low-speedfor LaboratoryMicrocentrifuges
High-speedfor ClinicalBenchtop centrifuges
Ultra-speedfor AnalyticalFloor models centrifuges

Laboratory Centrifuges Application Overview

According to the 2019 SDI Lab Centrifuge report, the demand for centrifuges is categorized by the industry’s needs and the machine’s function.
By industry, the pharmaceutical field accounts for the biggest market share which is 16% and the second one is scientific research sector with 15%. In particular, the ultra-high-speed centrifuges and high-speed centrifuges are commonly used in drug development process to separate proteins, smaller active substances, or viruses. What closely follows are the clinical healthcare industry and biotechnology industry, with respective shares of 14% and 13%. In these two areas, centrifuges are frequently used for separating blood samples and other clinical samples.

By functional, centrifuges are mainly used in application research which accounts for 28%, and in education and basic research, it is 26%. Additionally, laboratory centrifuges can also be used for other variety purposes such as analysis services and quality testing fields.

Different application demands have different centrifuge rotors and capacities.
The low-speed centrifuges usually comes with large capacity that suits for separation and preparation of cells, serum, plasma and mass samples. The high speed ones are mainly for the isolation and preparation of certain subcellular organelle structures, nucleic acids, proteins, plasmids, bacteria. While the ultra-speed types are used to separate and purify virus, proteins, plasmids. Also, the analytical ultra-speed centrifuge is for further analysis research.

How to Choose Centrifuge Rotors and Tubes

Our technical engineers summarize the detail guide on centrifuge selection to better meet your needs.
Read More: Detailed Explanation Of Centrifuge Fixed-Angle Rotor and Swing-Bucket Rotor

ApplicationPrinciples TubeSpeedRecommended centrifugesRecommended rotors
Subculturing/harvesting cellsWhen performing cell line passaging or primary cell acquisition, cell suspensions are often centrifuged in order to concentrate the cell suspension or to remove certain reagents (e.g. DMSO, supernatant waste from overculture). However, live cells are more sensitive and stress from external forces applied to the cells during centrifugation should be minimized.15/50mL tubeLow-speed centrifugation(800-1000rpm/min)M1416RM-S4-400-P M-S4-200-P M-F8-50CF M-F14-50CF
Separating serum/blood cellsThe examination of changes in blood cell composition is an important method to assist in the diagnosis of disease and determine the efficacy of treatment, but the storage time of these samples is short and the samples are very fragile, so the temperature and stability requirements of the centrifuging process are crucial.15/50mL tubeLow-speed centrifugation(3000-4000rpm/min)M1416RM-S4-400 M-F8-50CF M-F14-50CF
Blood Collection Tube(5/7mL;10mL)M-F30-15C
Protein purification/extractionIsolation and purification is the first step in the study of proteins and their interactions. The removal of impurities and purification by centrifugation is the most common method for both the extraction of recombinant proteins from E. coli lysates and the purification of target proteins from cell cultures. When purifying proteins, the stability and activity of the protein is a primary consideration, and it is important to operate at low temperatures, such as placing the sample on ice or in a cold room, and to ensure a stable low-temperature environment during centrifugation.1.5/2mL tubeHigh-speed centrifugationM1324/M1324R/M1416RM1324(R)-M-F24QG M1416R- M-F30-2QG M-F24-2QG
15/50mL tubeM1416RM-F8-50CF M-F14-50CF
15/50mL tubeLow-speed centrifugationM-S4-400-P M-S4-200-P
Large-capacity bottle
Nucleic acid purificationPurification of nucleic acids and plasmids is one of the most common centrifugation applications, e.g. tissue DNA extraction, plasmid extraction (mainly bacteria or yeast), RNA extraction from viruses, etc. The centrifugation process for such samples is sensitive to the temperature control required, and insufficiently low temperatures will cause inactivation of the sample or severely reduced yields.”1.5/2mL tubeHigh-speed centrifugationM1324/M1324R/M1416RM1324(R)-M-F24QG M1416R- M-F30-2QG M-F24-2QG
15/50mL tubeM1416RM-F8-50CF M-F14-50CF
PCR system constructionPCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) is widely used as the golden rule of sample detection.Small differences in sample preparation can have a false negative or false positive effect on the results. Therefore, it is very important to ensure that the samples are well mixed and that all samples are on the bottom.PCR tubeHigh-speed centrifugationM1324R/M1324M-F4PCR
96-well/384-well plateLow-speed centrifugationM1416RM-S2-DWP-P
High throughput sequencing – target screeningDuring high-throughput target screening, the sample handling process of the experiment involves multiple steps of centrifugation, which can also affect the sample handling ultimately positively or adversely affect the results.Deep-well/micro-well plateLow-speed centrifugationM1416RM-S2-DWP-P
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