What is a Centrifuge?

What is a Centrifuge?

A centrifuge is a device used to separate various components of a fluid. In this case, we use a centrifuge to separate red blood cells and plasma.

It works by causing denser substances and particles to move outward in the radial direction. At the same time, objects that are less dense are displaced and move to the centre. The acceleration causes denser particles to settle to the bottom of the tube, while low-density substances rise to the top.


Centrifuge Settings

We obtained our centrifuge from VinDoc Labs. They have 2 different settings and are simple to use. Firstly, how long we want to spin our blood – we choose 8 minutes. Then, how fast we want it to spin – we choose 2420(Revolutions per minute). If you have a more UpToDate centrifuge, you may find you have 3 settings as opposed to two. This third setting is relative centrifugal force. If you do have this setting, it should be set at 830.


If when your tubes have finished, the particles are not fully separated, put it on again for around 2-4 minutes.

From this, we will use a large spinal needle to aspirate the platelets out of the tube. This is the yellow solution that sits on top of the red. During this time, we must ensure we are not picking up any red cells. We then put the platelets into another tube and give it a good shake. Providing this colour has remained yellow, it is ready to use.