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How to Build a Plate Centrifuge for $25

I recently visited a lab that had a salad spinner on their lab bench and at first I wondered if they were putting together a salad lunch there but when I took a peek I got a nice surprise. It turns out that the salad spinner was actually a bench top, “minifuge” version of a plate centrifuge.

What a great idea I thought. A cheap, quick-to-build plate centrifuge that also worked pretty well for a quick spin just before PCR. So, we tried to built one in my lab and we loved it so much that we now have one sitting near almost EVERY PCR plate instrument, and have even gifted a couple to others!

Building one for your lab is simple, here is how…

You will need

1. A salad spinner – We use the Zyliss brand pull-cord salad spinner.
2. Multi-purpose cable ties found at any hardware store.
3. 96-well plate inserts – We use the ones from ABI

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Gathering the components is as complicated as it gets! All you need to do now is use those cable ties to secure the 96-well plate inserts to the inner bowl of the spinner as shown above. Then start using the new mini-plate-fuge!

16 Comments

  1. pkalvap on May 30, 2020 at 4:27 am

    I was wondering if these spin fast enough to get rid of bubbles in my qPCR plates. Anyone has experience with this? Which model of salad spinner is recommended?

  2. Adolfo Gonzalez on July 26, 2010 at 3:43 am

    Apparently, this idea has been around for some time, as commented by Roberto, Keith and Brian. I’ve seen this in a few labs.

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