The Significance of Automated Centrifugation

Martin Perkins

29th January 2016

Amino Acids, Applications Laboratory, Automation, Bligh & Dyer, Centrifuge, CF200, FAME, Fiehn Extraction, Folch Extraction, Metabolomics, MPS, Ray Perkins, Robotic,

In the automation of sample preparation methods, there are a few things that only a centrifuge can do properly:

  1. Separate immiscible liquid phases, where emulsion formation is possible.
  2. Separate solids from extraction solvents, without recourse to a filtration.

It can also perform these tasks quickly and on several samples at the same time.

Before the existence of the Anatune CF200 Robotic Centrifuge, the lack of this capability meant that many laborious sample preparation procedures couldn’t be fully automated.  This left a lot of clever chemists doing a lot of mundane work.

The existence of the CF200 along with the many other automation tools the GERSTEL MPS has to offer means that a lot of this work can now be tackled and they make an interesting addition to the application that you are now able to address.

In the field of Metabolomics we can now automate the Fiehn Extraction and Derivatisation method as discussed here.

If fatty acid methyl esters are your thing then several common FAMEs procedures are open to full automation (the Folch and Bligh & Dyer methods for example).

GC-MS is a great way of analysing amino acids – if only you didn’t have to work-up every sample by hand.

With the CF200 you can automate the whole process, freeing up your schedule.

If you are involved in clinical measurements, then most LC-MS sample prep can be automated; Vitamin D, Methyl Malonic Acid, Ketamine and Vitamin B for example.

In environmental analysis there are many possibilities such as the determination of non-polar pesticides in turbid water samples and in the methanolic extraction of VOCs from soil samples.

This is by no means an exhaustive list and you may well have your own ideas as to what would be worth trying.  If so, then I would like to make you an offer…

If you have an analytical method that you would like to try to automate, then email us at with a brief description of your idea.  If our applications team think it might work, we will offer you a two-day slot in our lab for you to try out your idea – with some expert help on hand.

We look forward to hearing from you.