How a Superspeed Centrifuge Works

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Problem: In today’s laboratories, safe, efficient sample processing is essential to getting research answers faster. The centrifuge is a staple of these laboratories and critical to this sample processing. Often a shared resource in busy research facilities, the lab centrifuge can be a revolving door of multiple users with varying levels of experience and a range of applications, all requiring a variety of rotors. Yet, the centrifuge is technically complex and can be the source of lab mishaps if used improperly. These everyday challenges can keep lab managers up at night: Are all researchers trained on centrifuge use? Are they using the right rotors for their applications and is the centrifuge programmed with the correct application parameters? Are they ensuring the rotors are properly and safely secured in the centrifuge chamber to avoid any potential rotor accidents?

Solution: Designed to overcome these obstacles, push-button rotor exchange and instant rotor identification are technology innovations featured in Thermo Scientific™ Sorvall™ LYNX superspeed centrifuges. These technologies are designed to simplify centrifuge operation, safeguard daily sample processing and shorten run set-up time— all without impacting the performance required for these research applications.

New quick rotor exchange technology, known as Thermo Scientific™ Auto- Lock™, allows researchers to install or remove centrifuge rotors in only three seconds. Traditional rotors are secured using a tie-down system, which bolts the rotor down onto the centrifuge motor shaft. This traditional method requires proper technique, considerable hand strength and significant time, a process which is then repeated several times a day when rotor changes are needed for a different user, application or protocol. Now using titanium latches with Auto-Lock rotor exchange, the rotor is automatically captured and securely locked into the centrifuge without any user manipulation or procedure, improving safety and confidence that the rotor will not loosen during a run. At the end of the run, a simple push-button on the rotor releases the locking mechanism, allowing the rotor to be easily and quickly removed from the centrifuge.

Another innovation in these superspeed centrifuges is instant automatic rotor identification with Thermo Scientific™ Auto- ID™. Using reliable, permanent magnets installed on rotors designed for this centrifuge, this technology instantly detects the magnetic pattern as soon as it is secured in the centrifuge and then automatically loads rotor name and specifications into centrifuge parameters. Instant rotor identification saves considerable run set-up time by eliminating the need to search for and input arcane rotor codes.

Additionally, traditional centrifuges perform tests during the centrifuge run to confirm the identity of the rotor is aligned with the rotor which has been programmed. This rotor checking process is done by measuring wind resistance or indirectly calculating rotor mass while the rotor is spinning at up to several thousand rpm and can occur a minute or more after the run has started. This means the user has often left the centrifuge and is not present if a problem is detected. Auto-ID also eliminates the potential to overspeed a rotor by making it impossible to accidently enter an incorrect rotor code or rotor speed, common user errors that on traditional systems can prematurely stop a centrifuge run, with consequences ranging from time lost due to an incomplete separation to damage to valuable samples.

Auto-Lock rotor exchange and Auto-ID instant rotor identification are examples of technology innovations that simplify centrifuge operation without sacrificing performance—and give lab managers the assurance of proper usage and safety compliance, while simultaneously providing centrifuge users with higher productivity with ease-of-use, and confidence that successful sample processing has taken place.

For more information, please visit www.thermoscientific.com/lynx

Categories: How it Works

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Is Your Message Getting Lost in the Sauce?

Published: May 1, 2013

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