What does a Vortex Mixer do?

Vortex Mixer
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What does a Vortex Mixer do?

A vortex mixer is a piece of laboratory equipment that is used in the rapid mixing of samples. This type of mixer has a small footprint with a high rpm. Vortex mixers can be used in any laboratory but is mainly used in microbiology, biochemical, bioscience, and analytical laboratories. Vortex mixers mainly mix samples/reagents but they can also be used to suspend cells.

 A vortex in a sample

How does a vortex mixer work? 

Vortex mixers have a motor with the drive shaft vertically attached with a cupped rubber piece mounted slightly off-centre. When the motor is running the rubber piece will oscillate in a circular motion rapidly. When a sample is placed on the rubber piece, the motion will be transmitted to the liquid and will cause a vortex in the sample. This allows vigorous mixing of samples.

 Variable speed vs Fixed speed Vortex Mixer

Variable speed vortex mixers allows the user to control the speed of mixing. This provides flexibility as the low speeds can be used for gentle mixing of samples, or the higher speeds can be used for more vigorous agitation.

Fixed speed vortex mixers starts mixing when the head is pressed down. As the speed is fixed, it spins at full rpm when used to provide vigorous vortexing of samples.

 High speed shaker/vortex mixer by Grant

Shaker/Vortex mixers 

This shaker/vortex mixer shakes and vortexes samples at the same time at high-speed. This can be used for tubes from 0.2 to 50ml and is used for mixing of difficult samples such as compact pellets, and small or viscous samples. This unit has a small footprint, is quiet and has different inserts to allow shaking/mixing of different sized samples. Microplates can also be attached.

This unit is particularly useful in:

  • Clinical/healthcare - thawing/mixing samples
  • Pharmaceutical - heating and mixing samples
  • Schools/universities - practical demonstrations/experiements
  • Industrial - QC testing and sample preparation.


Tube platforms

These tube platforms are able to hold a variety of tubes of different sizes to increase the number of samples that can be vortexed at one time. Tube holders are specific to the mixer they are made for.

 Cup head

 Cup head allows for quick mixing and comes in a variety of sizes. These heads can be easily substituted to different sized cup heads to mix a variety of tube sizes. The tube is placed on the cup head to create a vortex.

 Single tube holder

 A tube holder that fits on top of the Vortex Mixer to hold the tube into the cup head for long term mixing. This allows the sample to be mixed without supervision.

 Single tube holder by Ohaus for Vortex Mixers

 Tube insert for shaker/vortex mixer

 A tube insert that can accommodate for different sized tubes for the shaker/vortex mixer.

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