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Yo-Yo Microfuge

Solve a daily science problem in a fun way.
  [vote for,

In all of the areas of biological science in which I've worked, small microcentrifuge tubes <link> are used routinely for storage and handling of liquids. Annoyingly, being small, gravity does not have quite the hold on the liquids inside that it might on a larger scale. As a consequence, there are little droplets of liquid in the lid, or stuck to the sides of the tube. Worse, we like to mix the liquids inside by giving it a bit of a flick. Exacerbating the problem.

To solve it, we have centrifuges <link>, which spin the liquid to a nice droplet right at the bottom.

The problem with centrifuges, even the small ones, is that they're no fun. Actually, they're irritating, they make you wait while they finish spinning because of a 20th century invention called "safety". That and their real role is to spin things waaay faster than is necessary for just getting liquids to the bottom.

My solution, is a Yo-yo. The Yo-yo has a slot for a tube or two. You insert your tube, give it a quick yo-yo and you're done. There can only be one or two slots because the tube needs to end up correctly oriented while in the hand.

There, done.

bs0u0155, Jun 02 2014

microcentrifuge tubes from a reputible manufacturer http://eshop.eppend...icrocentrifuge_tube
[bs0u0155, Jun 02 2014]

Microcentrifuge http://www.eppendor...trifuge&contentid=2
[bs0u0155, Jun 02 2014]

Quick, safety-free cheap microfuge. http://www.dzcmarketing.com/?p=735
[MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 02 2014]


       Straightnin' the curves...   

       I'm surprised you guys don't have a manual bola-type set up for more simple separations.   

       You can buy (cheaply) tiny centrifuges that hold 6 or 8 Eppendorfs (those little tubes), have lightweight plastic rotors, and spin up to a few thousand RPM.   

       These take about half a second to spin up, a couple of seconds to spin down, and have no safety interlock (ie, they stop spinning when you open the plastic cover, but there's no lid-lock). They're allowed to be like this because the total kinetic energy in the lightweight rotor + tubes is below some threshold.   

       They are used mainly for exactly what you describe. Total time (open lid, insert two Eppendorfs, close lid, press button, release button, open lid, remove tubes) is about 5 or 6 seconds.   

       Example in the third link.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 02 2014

       I know they exist, but a: they're still not very fun, and b: the boss won't buy one, 3. It's not a yo-yo
bs0u0155, Jun 02 2014

       All fair points.   

       Given that they're so cheap, tell your boss from me that he's a cheapskate.   

       Failing that, you need to master the wrist-flick, which works for anything apart from enzymes.   

       Also, what on earth are you doing having a boss?
MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 02 2014

       You can also just take a piece of string and an L-shaped piece of aluminium with a hole in it. Swish-swish and you're done. But its still not an excuse to use a yo-yo. The wrist flick is all well and good, until glycerol or PEG or a few other things get involved.   

       Also, the yo-to should have lights, and be 3D printed... That's how you know it's bleeding edge right?
bs0u0155, Jun 02 2014

       Well, if it's 3D printed then I have no choice but to admit that it's the superior solution.   

MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 02 2014

       i did post an notion like this, but it's gone somewhere....like my hair, teeth and sanity.
not_morrison_rm, Jun 02 2014

       I also like the idea of a massive, incredibly dangerous one for 50ml falcon tubes.
bs0u0155, Jun 03 2014

       //If falcon tubes are roughly cat sized//   

       Curiously, Falcon tubes are not even falcon-sized. You can get a mouse in one, though.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 04 2014


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