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Things to Consider Before Buying Centrifuge for Your Biotech Business

  • Highlights

  • Various types of centrifuge

  • Choose centrifuge based on processing type

  • Identifying the rotor

  • Financing centrifuges

Centrifuge is a machine which spins or rotates objects around a fixed axis, and applies centrifugal force. The centripetal acceleration causes denser substances, and particles to move outward in the radial direction. It helps to separate fluids of different densities or liquids from solids.

In biotechnology, business centrifuges are used for different separation functions. It could be used for ethanol production, recovery of high-valued therapeutic protein production or other biotechnology separations. Some of the processes for which it is used are:

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- Manufacture of drugs, hormones, insulin, vaccines, and enzymes
- Blood fractionation
- Separation of extracellular, and intracellular-expressed proteins
- Recovery of RBCs, WBCs, concentration factors
- Cell tissue characterization, and concentration; and buffer exchange.

The centrifuge price can cost up to Rs.5 lakh. This cost can be financed with an engineer loans.

Before purchasing the centrifuge, the separation process, choice of centrifuge, and rotor selection are vital considerations. Before buying a centrifuge for your biotech business, here are certain things to consider:

Types of Centrifuge

There are two types of centrifuges - sedimentation and filtering. Decanter, disk-stack, solid-bowl basket, and tubular bowl centrifuges are examples of sedimentation centrifuges. They help to separate solids from liquids. They also separate liquids of different gravity. In filtering centrifuges liquid is passed through the filter, and the solids are captured in the process. Examples of filtration centrifuge units are peeler, basket, and pusher types.

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Selection of Centrifuges

Based on the kind of processing, the sedimentation centrifuge is chosen
- Tubular bowl centrifuges - separate immiscible liquids
- Disc bowl centrifuges - separate liquids, and fine solids
- Scroll dis-charge centrifuges - discharges relatively dry solids
The tubular bowl type is mostly used for solids concentrations below 1% by volume.

The scroll discharge type or the batch type is used for solids concentrations above 15% by volume.
For concentrations between 1% to 15% any of the sedimentation centrifuge is used other than tubular.

Rotor Selection

Centrifuge should have rotor identification to shorten run set-up times. A convenient rotor locking system makes the installation simpler. Rotors should be corrosion-free. Rotor lids with certified biocontainment, that click-in-place are preferred over screw-on lids.
There are generally three centrifugal separation methods:
- Differential pelleting
- Rate zonal centrifugation
- Isopycnic centrifugation
The kind of rotors are angle, neoangle, vertical, swing. The choice will depend on the separation processes chosen. Angle rotor is ideal for pelleting, and it is the most commonly used rotor. For isopycnic centrifugation, neoangle, vertical, and swing rotor are best fit. Swing rotor is also good for rate zonal centrifugation.

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