Laboratory Centrifuges

A number of laboratories make use of certain instruments and methods to prepare samples of various densities. Laboratory centrifuges are widely used by laboratories for this purpose. This laboratory equipment spins at high speeds so as to separate the required sample from the rest of the solution or mixture. The samples and it's component can then be used for various purposes.

Some hospitals use centrifuges to separate sperm cells from the semen so that these can be used to impregnate a woman who wants to be a mother but cannot do so via intercourse due to an infertile male partner. Many couples resort to centrifuges so that they can select the gender of the child prior to fertilization- sperm with the X chromosome is believed to be heavier than sperm with the Y chromosome and so, the heavier sperm (the X chromosome sperm) is flung to the bottom of the centrifuge which can be used in case the couple wants the child to be a girl. This can also be used to prevent sex-linked diseases.

Laboratory centrifuges are also used to separate blood into its components - plasma consisting of platelets, white blood cells and red blood cells. The red blood cells are the heaviest of the three and so, these are flung to the bottom of the centrifuge. These can be used by a hospital to help patients suffering from anemia via transfusion. White blood cells separated from whole blood are used to help patients suffering from leukemia (cancer of the blood) as they do not have many white blood cells and so, their immune systems are weak. Platelet-rich plasma is separated from whole blood for patients suffering from cancer because chemotherapy destroys the bone marrow and so, platelet-rich plasma would be required to prevent or stop them from bleeding. This is given to them via platelet transfusion.

Centrifuges can be used in laboratories involved in nuclear weaponry-the uranium isotope, uranium-238, is heavier than uranium hexafluoride gas and so these are more concentrated along the walls of the centrifuge, allowing one to extract the required isotope (uranium-235) and use this for the enrichment of nuclear weapons. These centrifuges can be used to separate petroleum from its components which would allow them to use the components for other purposes.

Different kinds of centrifuges are available for various purposes. Smaller centrifuges (known as micro centrifuges or microfuges) can be used in laboratories where the space is limited though they are now used in all laboratories. They have small plastic tubes that can hold small amounts of samples. Refrigerated models are available for samples that may be affected by warm temperatures or a change in temperature. They are equipped with condensers and compressors which helps keep them internally cool and allow substances to be centrifuged at low temperatures. All models are equipped with motors that would allow them to separate the solid in the fluid by flinging these to the bottom of the centrifuge.

Laboratory centrifuges are very useful for a number of purposes. They are used to help a country strengthen their nuclear weaponry. These can be used to separate petrol from its components which would benefit many other industries. Hospitals can use various components of blood according to the patients' requirements or to help impregnate a woman with a healthy child, free of potential sex-related diseases. Since they are available in different sizes they can be used by laboratories in a convenient manner which would allow them to protect, preserve, separate and analyze the mixture. Therefore, centrifuges help a number of industries and people in various, beneficial and useful ways.

Article Source: John Delorean


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