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Benefits of Horizontal Centrifugation vs. Fixed Angled

Horizontal Centrifugation

In horizontal centrifugation, the tubes swing outward to a horizontal position while spinning.  This type of centrifugation is often preferred because of the increased g-forces and the flat-line separation line inside the tube.

Benefits:

    • Higher G-forces:  As tubes swing outward, the G-force is increased, resulting in faster separations
    • Straight-line separation: When the tube is spun horizontally, the separation line will be straight across the tube and more accurate and precise 
    • Specialized applications: Horizontal centrifugation is preferred by blood reference labs, and is best for fecal float centrifugation and semen concentrations

Fixed-Angle Centrifugation

In fixed-angled centrifugation, the tubes are spun while at an angle in the rotor, which means the separation line in the tube will also be angled after spinning. 

Benefits:

    • Lower cost: A fixed-angle rotor is a simpler design with lower manufacturing costs
    • Smaller size: The angled rotor requires less space than a swing-out rotor, which means the centrifuge size can be much smaller 

Which One Should You Use?

Horizontal centrifugation is usually the preferred method due to the precise straight-line separations, the efficiency, and the accuracy.  But if the application does not require horizontal separation, then an angled centrifuge will save money and save bench space while still providing clean separations in the tube.  

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