Vortex mixers are mainly used to mix samples in tubes, plates and occasionally flasks by creating a vortex within the sample. Vortex mixers come with different accessories to enable it to mix samples of different sizes or multiple samples at once. For more information about vortex mixers please see this blog here
Centrifuges are mainly used to separate samples of different weight by spinning the samples at a high speed and creating a centrifugal force. Different rotors and adapters can be used to centrifuge multiple samples and different sized samples. For more in depth information about centrifuges please see this blog here
Do I need a vortex mixer or centrifuge?
Vortex mixers can be used in all laboratories but are mainly used within microbiology, bioscience, biochemical and analytical lab settings to help mix samples together before analysis, or to suspend cells. The tubes are placed on top of the vortex mixer to mix the liquid. This is the better option when you are looking to mix difficult liquids together or to help dissolve something in a solution.
A centrifuge is mainly used to separate components of different sizes, these are mainly used in biological areas for centrifuging cells. The tubes are placed inside the centrifuge in a fixed position to separate the liquids. This is the better option for if you are wanting to separate samples of different sizes.
Combined vortex mixer/centrifuge
There are combined vortex mixer/centrifuges which are centrifuges with vortex mixing to help save time as you can simultaneously prepare multiple samples at once. These units are versatile as they can hold un, semi and fully skirted PCR plates to allow for PCR plate centrifugation or plate mixing. This unit can also hold tubes. This is helpful for life science applications or applications where molecular biology, cell biology, DNA isolation and purification, cell lysis, pellet formation/re-suspension, preparation for PCR, mixing of viscous liquids or any other method that requires tube vortexing and centrifugation of many samples.
Information on the combined vortex mixer/centrifuge came from Grant
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