equipment in biology teaching labs. With an affordable single-speed centrifuge, teachers can broaden the scope of laboratory
experiments they conduct with their students and demonstrate
many techniques used in modern research settings.
The OPN Minifuge also easily lends itself to modification and
customization through the use of different fan motors, power sources, or other materials. For example, by using an AC/DC adapter
with a lower current or voltage rating, readers can reduce the speed
of the centrifuge. Similarly, by shortening the length of the aluminum bar, readers can reduce the force generated by the centrifuge.
Alternatively, readers can increase the speed and/or force of the
centrifuge by using a fan motor that spins at a higher rpm level
or by extending the length of the aluminum bar. Readers can further change the capacity of the centrifuge by making a four-arm
model from an aluminum plate or simply drilling more holes in
the aluminum bar and bending it closer to the center to hold more
microfuge tubes (although this last technique might require using a
different container as well). As such, readers can build equipment
that fits the exact requirements of their particular project or application, and we hope that the OPN Minifuge will serve as a useful
tool for introducing students to advanced experiments and techniques in their biology teaching labs.
The views set forth in this article are those of the authors and do not
necessarily reflect the position or belief of any entity, institution,
organization, group or other individual. We further declare that we
have no conflicts of interest related to any product, brand, company,
or website discussed in this article. Nor do we endorse any product,
brand, website, or other item mentioned in this article or that could
be used to make the OPN Minifuge. In fact, we encourage readers to
safely and responsibly experiment with different items and materials
to improve upon this design.
Bhamla, M. S., Benson, B., Chai, C., Katsikis, G., Johri, A., & Prakash, M.
(2017). Hand-powered ultralow-cost paper centrifuge. Nature
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Bozzone, D. M. (2000). Investigating phagocytosis in Tetrahymena. The
American Biology Teacher, 62, 136–139.
Cassidy-Hanley, D., Bowen, J., Lee, J. H., Cole, E., VerPlank, L. A., Gaertig, J.,
Gorovsky, M. A., & Bruns, P. J. (1997). Germline and somatic
transformation of mating Tetrahymena thermophila by particle
bombardment. Genetics, 146, 135–147.
Gilson, Inc. (2006). Specification sheet for the GmCLab mini-centrifuge.
Available online at http://www.gilson.com/Resources/GmC
Stewart, C., & Giannini, J. (2016). Analyzing Tetrahymena Movement with an
Inexpensive and Engaging Inquiry Lab. The American Biology Teacher,
WareJoncas, Z., Stewart, C., & Giannini, J. (2016). An Inexpensive, Open
Source Clinical Centrifuge Made from a Box Fan and a Large Plastic
Tub. Available online at https://pages.stolaf.edu/opn-lab/equipment/
ZACHARY WAREJONCAS ( firstname.lastname@example.org) is a graduate of St. Olaf
College; CHRIS STEWART ( email@example.com) is a part-time continuing
education student at St. Olaf College JOHN GIANNINI ( firstname.lastname@example.org)
is an Associate Professor of Biology at St. Olaf College, 1520 St. Olaf
Avenue, Northfield, MN 55057, USA.