When to Use a Vortex Mixer

Vortex mixers are staple mixing systems in laboratory environments, providing the means to fully homogenize samples in flasks or test tubes. Some mixers with specialized sample container housings also facilitate mixing with 96-well microtiter plates or fairly large volume Erlenmeyer flasks.

Given the abundance of different mixing products available for efficient and fully-sanitary lab sample preparation, when might you consider using a vortexer for your sample prep needs? In this article, we will take a look at some of the benefits of vortex mixers to highlight some of their key use applications.

What is a Vortex Mixer?

The main components of a standard vortex mixer are an internal motor attached to a sample platform. This may be a single touch-point or a multi-tube cradle. When the mixing system is activated, the motor drives a shaft below the platform which causes the contents of sample containers to circulate rapidly. The main strength of this technique is its efficiency, enabling accurate and fast homogenization of a range of sample types.

Additionally, standard vortex mixers are known for delivering good homogeneity of standard samples and are increasingly available in more innovative/robust formats for tackling hardier sample matrices. Pulse vortexing, for instance, introduces a top-to-bottom pulsed mixing action that interrupts the orbital flow to achieve greater uniformity. Additionally, some vortex mixers can be operating automatically with incubators/refrigeration units to carefully control the thermal parameters of mixing operations.

Consequently, vortex mixing systems can be used across the full spectrum of biochemistry and life sciences applications where uniform homogeneity of samples is a key intermediary for steps in sample analysis. A short and by no means exhaustive selection of potential applications of vortex mixers includes:

  • Preparing bacterial protein expressions
  • Homogenizing blood samples
  • Disrupting/lysing cells
  • Assaying samples with reagents

Additionally, as vortex mixers are typically small-scale devices with a low and lightweight footprint, they can usually be used on benchtops. This provides maximum space to power functionality and offers a substantial mixing solution for small-scale labs and budget-conscious facilities.

If you are looking for a new mixing solution and are interested in using a powerful vortex mixing solution, why not contact a member of the Glas-Col team today?