Home Forums General Discussion Maximum Speed to centrifuge bacteria

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    Just wondering is there a maximum speed I can spin bacteria. I just need to make a pellet in the shortest time possible but I dont want to damage the cells. Is it damaging at say 100,000 rpm/ 1min?



    Hi Marcus,
    We always use 10,000- 13,000 x g for 1-2 minutes in a microcentrifuge.
    100,000 RPM might be a bit much.
    Bacteria are heavy so they’ll pellet with less force.
    I don’t know but I would guess that at 100,000 RPM, it would take about 10 seconds to pellet bacteria- it would take longer than that for the centrifuge to reach that speed.



    Jode Plank

    I agree with Suzanne. To get to 100,000g/rpm, you would need to use a ultracentrifuge, and it takes a significant amount of time to get up and running and then slow down and stop. I would also be worried about damaging the cells at 100,000g/rpm.

    If you are using the pellet after this step, you can pellet the cells in 20-30 seconds in a microfuge. You leave more cells in the supernatent than you would if you spun then for 1-2 minutes, but if you are more concerned with speed than you are with quantitative recovery of the cells, then this might work for you.



    I don’t know how much force cells can handle, but I think the important question should be “How much force do I need?”

    Even if cells can withstand 100k rpm, you probably don’t need that speed. For e.coli in LB, 20 seconds at 13k rpm in a microfuge will pellet the cells well.



    Cheers folks, I dont know where I was getting 100,000 from I meant 10,000 rpm. They are helpful insights, appreciate it.



    I agree with Suzanne. Usually centrifuging liquid cultures at 10,000 rpm from 3 – 5 min gives a very sturdy pellet and the supernatant can be discarded easily.

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