How to Centrifuge Blood

Centrifuge is driven by an electric motor that puts an object in rotation around an axis and applies the force perpendicular to the axis. This process has many applications one of them being to separate the components of blood in blood banks. There are many precaution and safety measures that should be followed while using a laboratory centrifuge. This article goes on to describe the process of a centrifuge in a laboratory.

iFuge L30 - The Laboratory Centrifuge
iFuge L30 – The Laboratory Centrifuge

There are many different kinds of centrifuges available in the market, some of them are able to hold 6 tubes while others may be able to hold up to 8 tubes. Thus it is possible to centrifuge 8 blood tubes at a time. The laboratory centrifuge uses centrifugal force, in a spinning motion that exerts an outward push, and separates the liquid into their components in the process. If a whole blood specimen is placed into a centrifuge the separation occurs such that the bottom is a layer of heavy red blood cells. In addition to which the middle layer is a tiny platelet and while blood cells called the buffy coat. The remaining top liquid layer is the lightest of all. If the specimen was allowed to clot before centrifuging the top layer is serum or plasma if the specimen was anticoagulated and not allowed to clot.

Thus the centrifuge instrument spins and separates blood into layers depending on the weight of the layer. Scientifically the heavier elements are pushed to the bottom due to centrifugal force.

There is one thing that must be taken utmost care of, and that is the Blood tubes must always be balanced in the centrifuge. If an uneven number of tubes are to be used then it is necessary to make sure that a tube with water balances the other blood tube on the opposite side of the centrifuge. You will need to fill a tube with water as per the density and volume required balance the centrifuge. This tube will be placed opposite the blood tube in the centrifuge machine.

It is also necessary that all the tubes be securely caped. Also before starting the machine make sure the lid is locked. Though many machines will not start until the lid is locked. In addition to which the centrifuge should not be opened while it is in motion and if you do so it is forbidden to stop the spinning by your hand.

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Johana Sophia

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Other lab centrifuge related post:

1. Features of Centrifuges in Laboratories

2. Laboratory Centrifuges: Use and Safety Tips

3. Safety with Lab Centrifuges

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