A centrifuge is a laboratory device that is used to separate materials according to the density and sedimentation rate of a given compound. There are various types of centrifuges, depending on what kind of device a particular laboratory requires. Some of the most common types of centrifuges are listed below:
- Benchtop Centrifuges;
- Floor-Standing Centrifuges;
- Low-Speed Centrifuges;
- High-Speed Centrifuges;
Benchtop centrifuges, which are characterized by the relatively small size and low speed, are usually considered as microcentrifuges. They are designed for labs that are limited in space or educational facilities. Taking up little space on the laboratory working bench, microcentrifuges are portable and convenient for the separation of small portions of samples.
Microcentrifuges are commonly used in Biochemistry labs for the isolation of various biological materials. To separate the compounds, a sample (or several samples) is placed in a specific centrifuge vessel (test tube). A centrifuge rotor is used to spin the vessel(s) at high speed and the separation is achieved by means of a centrifugal force.
Microcentrifuge tubes are small vessels that can hold samples in the range of 0.2-2.0mL. Even though microcentrifuges are compact devices that can separate small samples, there are various rotor adaptors, which can be used to change the size of the tube.
To select suitable test tubes for your device, it is essential to consider various aspects, some of which are as follows:
- The type of the centrifuge;
- The size of the centrifuge;
- The shape and size of the tubes that can be placed in the centrifuge;
- Characteristics and features of the centrifuge. For instance, a centrifuge can be equipped with a temperature control unit; Therefore, it is essential to choose the test tubes that are suitable for the specific temperature range. Or, there might not be a temperature control system and the tubes might get relatively hot. In such cases, it is critical to make sure that the test tubes can handle the increase in temperature and do not damage the samples.
Due to the importance of the proper selection of test tubes, this article will primarily focus on the top 10 microcentrifuge tubes for your lab equipment.
FisherbrandTM Microcentrifuge Tubes
FisherbrandTM Premium Microcentrifuge Tubes are polypropylene vessels characterized by a safe and reliable seal by means of flat-top snap caps, which are easy to open and close with one hand. The caps comprise a spot for needle insertion and a specific textured surface for labeling and marking on the exterior of the tube.
Besides, the maximum sample recovery is achieved by a particularly polished interior surface. The test tube is suitable for temperature anywhere between -80oC and 121oC. With the capacity of 0.6mL (0.1mL markings), length of 30.5mm, and an outer diameter of 7.5mm, the vessel can be fitted in any regular microcentrifuge rotor.
The graduated 0.6mL tubes are suitable for RNA and DNA analysis since they are RNase- and DNase-free.
FisherbrandTM Premium Microcentrifuge Tubes also come in 1.5mL-capacity tubes. The characteristics of these microcentrifuge tubes are the same as in the case of 0.6mL tubes. They are made of high-clarity polypropylene and comprise easy-open caps along with spots for needle insertion. Etched marking and labeling areas are also present on the tube exterior.
The only difference is that these tubes are graduated in 0.1 and 0.25mL increments, making it easier to accurately transfer the required amount of sample into the microcentrifuge tube. Along with that, 1.5mL tubes can be used to separate larger volumes of samples at once.
1.5mL microcentrifuge tubes can also be used for RNA and DNA separation.
FisherbrandTM Premium Microcentrifuge Tubes can also be purchased in the pack of 2.0mL tubes. Generally, this is the maximum volume of a sample that a typical microcentrifuge can hold. Note that there might be some exceptions, such as rotator adapters that make it possible for larger tubes to fit the centrifuge.
Snap-cap with a flat top and needle insertion port make the tubes pretty convenient to use. The polished and clear interior allows the user to quickly identify results and guarantees maximum sample recovery.
Similarly to 0.6mL and 1.5mL microcentrifuge tubes, 2.0mL tubes do not contain RNase or DNase, meaning that RNA and DNA samples can be separated using these tubes without degrading the material.
EppendorfTM Microcentrifuge Tubes
EppendorfTM PCR Clean Microcentrifuge Tubes are non-sterile polypropylene tubes with a snap cap, which ensures liquid tightness and reliable seal. The maximum force of the tubes is rated to 25,000xG. What makes the tube even more convenient is its cap that can be easily opened and closed. The textured exterior surface can be used for marking or labeling.
With the capacity of 2mL, the tubes are ideal for DNA sample separation and preparation for PCR analysis. The fact that the tubes do not consist of human DNA, DNase, RNase, and PCR inhibitors allows the user to isolate various materials, including RNA and DNA.
EppendorfTM DNA LoBind Microcentrifuge Tubes are high stability polypropylene tubes that come in a conical shape. The tubes are designed in the way that the sample-to-surface binding is notably reduced to maximize sample recovery. This ensures that sample material is not lost (or the amount lost is significantly decreased) as a result of the adsorption of the sample to the surface of the tubes. Maximization of sample recovery is achieved by high-quality polypropylene and specific technology that does not imply the implementation of any type of surface coating, such as siliconization.
The tubes are free of enzymes that degrade RNA and DNA samples (e.g., DNase, RNase), meaning that they are suitable for RNA and DNA separation for various applications, including but not limited to gene cloning, generation sequencing, and forensic analysis, microarrays.
EppendorfTM Snap-Cap Microcentrifuge Safe-LockTM Tubes are autoclavable polypropylene tubes with hinged snap-cap. The caps guarantee secure sealing, ensure that the samples are not evaporated during the storage, and minimize the contamination of the samples while opening the tubes. The tubes can hold up to 2.0mL of sample and the maximum force that the tubes can handle is 25,000xG.
Graduated tubes can function in the temperature range from -80oC to 100oC. Two etched areas can be used for labeling or marking purposes: one on the lid and one on the side surface of the tube.
Thermo ScientificTM Microcentrifuge Tubes
Thermo ScientificTM Snap-Cap Low Retention Microcentrifuge Tubes are characterized by high assay accuracy and precision of separated materials. There are no additives or coatings used in the production of the tubes, but high-quality polypropylene decreases the degree of surface binding. Low retention interior surface of microcentrifuge tubes reduces the adhesion of various biological molecules to tube walls and allows the users to maximize sample recovery. Graduation marks on the exterior surface of the tube make the volume referencing quite an easy job.
There are several sizes of microcentrifuge vessels, depending on the preferences and requirements of a particular laboratory or scientist. The tubes come in the packs 0.6mL, 1.5mL, and 2.0mL tubes that can be either sterile or non-sterile. Non-sterile products do not consist of RNase, DNase, DNA, and pyrogens, while sterile tubes are also free of ATP, bioburden, and endotoxins.
AxygenTM Microcentrifuge Tubes
AxygenTM MaxyClear Snaplock Microtubes comprise a tight seal that prevents materials from leaking out of the tube while spinning in a microcentrifuge. There is a small 0.28mm spot for needle access. There are two frosted surfaces for marking and labeling: cap surface and panels on the side. The maximum force that 1.5mL tubes can withstand is 20,000xG. The tubes also come in the packs of 0.60mL vessels, which can withstand up to 14,000xG.
Autoclavable and boil-proof microcentrifuge tubes guarantee that the material is not wasted throughout the analysis. Clear and sterile vessels are free of RNase, DNase, and endotoxins, which improve the degree of the total sample integrity.
Argos TechnologiesTM Microcentrifuge Tubes
Argos TechnologiesTM Microcentrifuge Tubes comprise 5mL conical tubes that are commonly used as an alternative to 15mL microcentrifuge tubes. Polypropylene tubes with an easy-to-open cap can withstand the maximum force of 14,000xG. Frosted marking areas on top of the lid and on side panels on the exterior make it easier to label the samples. Moreover, the tubes can be used for freezing samples to -90oC.
The tubes that are suitable for single-hand operation comprise clear panels, allowing the user to observe the samples properly. Graduation marks promote the accuracy of sample referencing while transferring the materials into the microcentrifuge tubes. Besides, sterile vessels are free of RNase, DNase, and pyrogen, making them suitable for precise RNA and DNA analysis and separation.
Argos TechnologiesTM Black Microcentrifuge Tubes are specifically designed for the analysis and separation of fluorescent samples. In biochemistry and molecular biology laboratories, various techniques require the use of the fluorescent tag, such as Ethidium Bromide (EtBr), also known as Bromoethane. This compound is used to visualize nucleic acid strain (DNA) in electrophoresis experiments employing the use of agarose gel. In such experiments, it is essential to use equipment (usually in black color), which prevents photosensitive materials from degradation.
0.5mL autoclavable polypropylene microcentrifuge tubes can withstand forces up to 38,000xG. The tubes are free of chemicals (DNase, RNase, pyrogen) that can influence the degradation of DNA, RNA, and other biological materials. Therefore, the vessels are ideal for DNA and RNA analysis and separation using fluorescent probes and tags.