The equipment contained in a biology laboratory is certainly different from the equipment in a physical or chemical laboratory. In biology laboratories, glass-based equipment such as beaker glass, measuring cups to pipettes and test tubes will usually be found. One of the most effective and common tools is vortex mixer or vortexer, which is a tool that can be used to mix liquids in small scale to be homogeneous.
This Vortex Mixer was created by Jack A. Kraft and Harold D. Kraft who are employees of Scientific Industries, one of the world’s laboratory equipment manufacturers. They filed a patent for this tool in 1959. The innovations created by the Kraft brothers are very beneficial to the biochemical world and are even still used today. Another option for vortex mixers is finger vortex. Unlike vortex mixers that run automatically, finger vortex is done manually by covering the tube with the thumb.
The tube is closed with the thumb and then moved up and down repeatedly. Usually finger vortex can be done for a simple mixing procedure. Then, how do vortex mixers work in biology laboratories? Check out the following review.
Vortex Mixer in Biology Laboratory
In biology laboratories, this tool is usually used to mix cells in the cell culture process. In addition, a vortex mixer can also be used to mix enzymes, buffers and substrates and test enzyme reagents before incubating in a water bath. Waterbath is a container filled with water that is used to maintain temperatures in certain conditions and in certain periods. This tool can also be used to mix several compounds to be sampled before the experiment.
This Vortex Mixer is used to process a number of compounds or liquids in small and limited volumes because of their shape which can only hold small tubes. Examples of tubes that can be used in the vortex mixer process are centrifugal tubes,Eppendorf MixMate, falkon and test tubes. Meanwhile, the main components of this tool are the engine motor and drive shaft.
Inside this tool there is a small rubber band attached to the machine to shake the sample. There is also a drive shaft which will move vertically if the engine is turned on. In addition, the rubber hook will later rotate quickly so that the tube attached to the top will be thoroughly shaken and cause a vortex to coalesce.
Vortex Mixer Parts
The vortex head which is the main part is used to place the sample. On top of that, there are adapters that can be removed and adjusted to the size of the tube container that will be used. Tubes used in general are micro tubes of various sizes. The next part is the tool body. There is a power button and speed control knob on the body of this tool. There is also a type of vortex mixer that has a vibration timer that can be adjusted according to the sample material so that the results obtained are more optimal. Then, the lower part of the supporting foot is a useful tool to support the body of the vortex mixer. This supporting foot is resistant to vibration and is able to stabilize the vortex mixer.
Type of Vortex Mixer
In addition to regular vortex mixers, there are also vortex mixers that feature infrared sensors. This sensor can detect movements automatically. You don’t need to bother pressing the tool to activate homogenization of the sample. There are also other types of vortex mixers, micro mixers, which can be used to mix small-scale solutions in an e-tube.
How to use Vortex Mixer
Turn on the vortex mixer by moving the switch to the on position. Insert the container containing the sample to be mixed into the vortex and place it in the appropriate position on the rubber band while holding the tube during the process. The tube used is usually a micro centrifugal tube or test tube.
Then, adjust the speed of the vortex by turning the black knob according to the instructions found on the vortex mixer machine. If the trial sample does not rotate, it means that the mixing process is complete. Return the knob to its original position, turn off the vortex engine and remove it from the flow of electric current.
That’s how vortex mixers work in biology laboratories. This tool is one of the most important tools and is a very useful innovation for various fields of science, especially in biochemistry.