Small bench centrifuges are the simplest form of centrifuge, used to separate a small amount of material that sediments quickly.

They are also known as small bench top centrifuge.

Several manufacturers, such as Sigma, Drucker Company, Becton, Dickinson and Company, Franklin Lakes etc) make this type of centrifuge as it is one of the most commonly used and inexpensive.

Principle Involved

Maximum relative centrifugal field of this centrifuge is 3000-7000g and maximum speed is 4000-6000rpm.

Small microfuge tubes (Figure 2A) or test tubes (Figure 2B) are used into which samples are kept before putting them inside centrifuge.

Samples used are handy solutions for various medical and laboratory tests that demand effortless separation of liquids from solids.

They are used for processing the blood samples (routine study) and studying synaptosomes, to evaluate effects of drugs on the uptake of biogenic amines.

It also has other applications in areas such as cytology, histology, pharmaceutical, and clinical laboratories.

Figure 2. Typical small bench centrifuges that holds microfuge tubes A and test tubes B
Figure 2. Typical small bench centrifuges that holds microfuge tubes A and test tubes B

Microcentrifuge Tubes  

Microcentrifuge or microfuge tubes are small, cylindrical centrifuge tube made up of polypropylene.

Hence, they can be used in very low temperature (-80 °C to liquid nitrogen temperatures) or in organic solvents (such as chloroform).

The size of standard microfuge tubes generally ranges from 200μl to 2ml. These are used in molecular biology and biochemistry research to store and to centrifuge small amounts of liquids.

Eppendorf tube is a generic trademark for microfuge or microcentrifuge tubes (Figure 3). Eppendorf Company was a major manufacturer of this item, but now many manufacturers make them.

Figure 3. Empty eppendorf vials
Figure 3. Empty eppendorf vials

Centrifuge Tubes

Calibrated, container used with laboratory centrifuges for volumetric analysis of separable samples.

They are tubes with conical or round bottom called microfuge tube. They contain screw cap or snap cap (Figure 4).

Larger tubes capable of holding even 2000 ml of sample in refrigerated centrifuges.

They are made of different materials such as polystyrene, co-polymers or polypropylene.

Glass centrifuge tubes are also used with most solvents, but are more expensive.

Figure 4. A centrifuge tube
Figure 4. A centrifuge tube