Centrifuges for Urine Testing
Urinalysis is an important process in clinical laboratories and in order to achieve the ability to examine urine components microscopically, scientists utilize centrifuges for the separation of sediments.
While centrifuges are vital to the process and are utilized to do the initial separation of the urine sample, it requires experience and specialized skills to examine the sediments and prepare the slides properly for observation under a microscope.
Unlike other specimens, urine should be spun at a slower speed to preserve the integrity of the sample. Spinning the specimens at too high a speed or for a lengthy amount of time can result in cast fragmentation or can cause cells to rupture, ruining the sample.
Centrifuges help those working in urinalysis examine the specimens visually for color and chemically, and they are often essential in preparing slides for microscopic observation.
Urine samples should be spun at a range of 450 – 500 xg for five minutes.
Drucker Diagnostics offers several models of urine centrifuges that allow for the versatility and demands of urinalysis for clinical laboratories.
After centrifugation, the sediments of the urine are observed for a variety of crystals, bacteria, casts, red blood cells, white blood cells and yeast. By analyzing urine, doctors are able to provide either a diagnosis or a prognosis based on their observations.
Because urine samples degrade quickly, the specimens need to be analyzed as quickly as possible. The importance of sample preservation is dependent on an efficient and accurate performance of the lab's centrifuge.
Urine can provide scientists with information that would only be obtained through a biopsy due to the cells gained through the urinary tract. Cells from the kidney, ureter, bladder and urethra can help diagnose diseases without performing a biopsy or surgery on a patient by examining the sediments found.
How to Prepare Urine for Centrifugation
The first step in the process of urinalysis is to obtain a proper sample, while maintaining its integrity. When collecting a sample from the patient, healthcare professionals should be instructed on the proper technique in order to achieve a clean sample.
Once a sample is obtained, between five and ten milliliters can be poured into a test tube prior to centrifugation. When placing the tube in the centrifuge, make sure the sample is properly balanced either with a tube of water with equal weight at opposing side, or another urine sample.
Once the specimen has been put through the cycle, pour off the supernatant, being careful to leave a half to 1 milliliter. Following the process, the sediment can then be loosened by lighting tapping the base of the tube against a solid surface.
What Technicians Look for in Urine Samples
- White Blood Cells - White blood cells, or leukocytes, support the immune system and help the body combat infection. By analyzing the number of white blood cells in a urine sample, scientists can determine whether or not there is an infection in the urinary tract.
- Red Blood Cells - Red blood cells, or erythrocytes, are not commonly found in urine, and their presence can indicate problems including trauma, infection or even kidney stones.
- Casts - Casts are tube-shaped particles comprised of red blood cells, white blood cells, kidney cells or other substances. There are several types of casts found in urine, and they vary in size and diameter.
- Bacteria and Yeast - Bacteria and yeast are not commonly present in urine, and their presence can indicate infection.
- Crystals - Crystals are present even in healthy individuals' urine, but the presence of abnormal crystals can indicate serious problems including genetic abnormalities or liver diseases.
Why Drucker Diagnostics?
- Capillary micro centrifuges: QBC Capillary Centrifuge has a compact design and can process up to 20 blood samples in just five minutes. The capillary centrifuge is used with our Autoread Plus Dry Hematology analyzer or the Malaria Test systems.
- Horizontal bench-top centrifuges: Most of the tabletop centrifuge models we offer utilize a horizontal rotor system to achieve high-quality separations. They can be used for blood, urine, or general testing applications.
- Fixed-angle bench-top centrifuges: Drucker Diagnostics offers several fixed-angle centrifuge models where fixed angle is preffered for specific applications.
Recommended Drucker Diagnostics Urine Centrifuges
- Model 642VES - The Model 642VES is a variable-speed centrifuge designed for the doctor’s office or small lab. The scrollable time setting and digital readout make it incredibly easy to use. Its compact design minimizes its footprint, leaving more room on your counter. The unique horizontal rotor design allows for the test tubes to be inserted into the centrifuge at a convenient 45-degree angle. They are then gently rotated to a full horizontal position as the motor accelerates.
- Model 642VFD-Plus - High performance provides the 1,500 – 2,000 xg necessary for platelet-poor-plasma coagulation samples and the 500 xg required for sensitive urine samples. Using patented technology, the 642VFD-Plus reduces blood separation processing times by 50 percent or more while minimizing the use of valuable counter space. The performance of the 642VFD-Plus maximizes sample integrity by keeping your patient samples cool during centrifugation, providing high-quality gel separation layers and minimizing the presence of cells or fibrin strands in the serum or plasma. Programmable two-speed operation is simple yet flexible enough to be tailored to any application requiring 2,000 xg or less. With the built-in universal power supply and UL/CE safety approvals, the 642VFD-Plus can be implemented to meet your global needs.
- Model 755V - The Model 755V horizontal centrifuge boasts a high capacity of (24) 10mL samples, (12) 15mL samples or six 50mL samples in a compact footprint. It is designed for moderate to large labs where high volume, multiple applications and various tube types are common. Variable speed provides the flexibility needed for urinalysis, chemistry and coagulation samples.
- Model 755VES - The Horizon 755VES is the number one choice for hospitals and large laboratories. Its innovative design provides the flexibility and performance necessary for today’s clinical labs. The 755VES is supplied with everything necessary for the modern laboratory including a horizontal rotor, buckets, caps and inserts for tubes ranging from .5 mL – 50 mL. The 755VES is ideal for serology, STAT, PPP, PRP, coagulation, clinical chemistry and more. The exclusive airflow and rotor design guarantees the highest-quality sample separations and maintains the integrity of the most sensitive specimens.
- Model 842VES - The Model 842VES six-tube horizontal centrifuge provides high performance, versatility and quick results to meet the needs of the most demanding lean laboratories. High G-force capabilities provide three-minute separation in a gel tube when suited with the optional Performance Plus rotor for 13mm x 75mm tubes, and five minutes with the standard rotor. The 842VES offers the fastest turn-around time possible with Platelet Poor Plasma for your chemistry samples and coags in a fraction of the time of a typical centrifuge.
- Model 853VES - The Model 853VES 12-tube horizontal centrifuge provides high performance, versatility and quick results to meet the needs of the most demanding lean laboratories. High G-force capabilities provide three-minute platelet-poor-plasma in gel tubes. In addition, the 853VES is a medium capacity centrifuge with unmatched performance. Its high-performance design can produce Platelet-Poor-Plasma in as little as three minutes, yet it still offers versatility for sensitive urine and fertility samples. The exclusive Drucker rotor and airflow design assures the highest-quality separations every time. Complete digital controls make it easy to adjust settings, and the internal memory allows for common settings to be stored for later use.
Centrifuge Setup and Installation
While many of the specific requirements of a centrifuge's operation are dependent on the application, Drucker Diagnostics employs a skilled team of engineers who can create custom products if you have additional requirements. If you need a custom rotor or a special feature, or you just have an idea for a new product, we can make it a reality.
A stable, secure platform for the centrifuge is crucial to its performance as well as the safety of the centrifuge operator. While some models are lighter in weight, some weigh a significant amount. Placing the centrifuge on a secure base, coupled with the delicate balance needed when in motion, ensures proper operation plus the safety of those working in the lab or medical facility.
During operation, safeguards are designed to help prevent problems and maintain operating efficiency. However, centrifuge balance is important at the start of the run, and many failures are often the result of improper tube placement.
Balanced loads can be corrected by maintaining opposing tube holders with samples that are equal in weight. For example, if you need to run an odd number of samples, place a tube of water equal in weight on the opposite end of the odd sample to prevent an imbalance.
If you operate the centrifuge with improper tube placement, it will prevent the product from operating correctly. Anyone operating the centrifuge regularly should receive hands-on training on proper operation, which can help maintain safe, efficient results.
Because bodily fluids like urine may be hazardous, anyone operating a centrifuge should always take safety precautions. Maintain a proper balance and install the centrifuge on a stable and secure base to prevent damage to the product and to uphold safety in the lab.
It is important never to interfere with a centrifuge in motion, as this could result in harm or it could aerosolize the fluids within the centrifuge. Additionally, you should always close the cover when the centrifuge is in operation. Before using the centrifuge, always inspect the samples to make sure they are sealed. You should never try to stop a moving centrifuge or any of its components with your hands or any other objects.
If there is a broken tube or a sample leak, make sure to disinfect the centrifuge immediately in order to stop the spread of potentially hazardous materials. Cleaning the centrifuge after using is also a good practice in upholding a safe work environment.
For more information on how we can assist you and provide you with the best product for your lab, contact Drucker Diagnostics by visiting us online or by calling us at 1-877-231-3115 (U.S. only) or 1-814-692-7661.