- Vortex mixer
Infobox Laboratory equipment
name = Vortex mixer
caption = A "Whirlimixer" brand vortex mixer
other_names = Vortex shaker
uses = Liquid mixing
Magnetic stirrer Static mixerA vortex mixer is a simple device used commonly in laboratories to mix small vials of liquid. It consists of an electric motorwith the drive shaft oriented vertically and attached to a cupped rubber piece mounted slightly off-center. As the motor runs the rubber piece oscillates rapidly in a circular motion. When a test tube or other appropriate container is pressed into the rubber cup (or touched to its edge) the motion is transmitted to the liquid inside and a vortexis created. Most vortex mixers have variable speed settings and can be set to run continuously, or to run only when downward pressure is applied to the rubber piece.
Vortex mixers are quite commonplace in bioscience laboratories. In
cell cultureand microbiologylaboratories they may be used to suspend cells. In a biochemical or analytical laboratory they may be used to mix the reagents of an assayor to mix an experimental sample and a dilutant.
An alternative to the electric vortex mixer is the "finger vortex" technique in which a vortex is created manually by striking a test tube in a forward and downward motion with one's finger or thumb. This generally takes longer and often results in inadequate suspension, although it may be suitable in some cases when a vortex mixer is unavailable or the forces involved in vortexing would damage the sample, but this technique is not recommended when caustic substances are involved. The technique is better suited to accelerate the mixture of solutions which do not require the
kinetic energyinput needed to create suspensions.
* [http://www.proscientific.com PRO Scientific Inc. - A vortex mixer manufacturer]
* [http://www.ika.net IKA - A vortex mixer manufacturer]
* [http://www.velp.com/en/default.asp VELP - A vortex mixer manufacturer]
* [http://www.nickel-electro.co.uk Nickel-Electro Ltd manufacturer of CM range Vortex mixers]
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