Classification, Laboratory Tools, and Techniques

How has centrifugation been used in biological applications?

Centrifugation is the separation of immiscible liquids or solids from liquids by applying centrifugal force. Since the centrifugal force can be very great, it speeds the process of separating these liquids instead of relying on gravity. Biologists primarily use centrifugation to isolate and determine the biological properties and functions of subcellular organelles and large molecules. They study the effects of centrifugal forces on cells, developing embryos, and protozoa. These techniques have allowed scientists to determine certain properties about cells, including surface tension, relative viscosity of the cytoplasm, and the spatial and functional interrelationship of cell organelles when redistributed in intact cells.


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