Difference Between Cryo Vial and Centrifuge Tube

Centrifuge tubes and cryovials are quite similar in appearance, so what is the difference between them? Can it be used interchangeably? The following content presents the difference between cryo vial and centrifuge tube for you, and I believe your confusion will be properly answered.

Cryo Vial and Centrifuge Tube

Centrifuge Tube:

  • The comparison here is to standard centrifuge tubes rather than microcentrifuge tubes or large-capacity centrifuge bottles. Centrifuge tubes are thin, cylindrical, tubular sample containers with colored screw caps used in laboratory centrifuges to hold liquid during centrifugation and to separate samples by rapid spinning.
  • The bottom of the centrifuge tube is designed with a tapered bottom, which helps to collect any solid or heavier parts of the centrifuged sample. There are also normal round bottom centrifuge tubes.
  • Centrifuge tubes are different from regular test tubes and are expressly used for centrifugation. Centrifugation is when you spin a liquid at high speed to separate its components. Centrifuge tubes are critical to this process.
  • The sample suspension is placed in a tubular sample container. Under the high-speed rotation of the centrifuge, due to the huge centrifugal force, the suspended tiny particles settle at a certain speed and separate from the solution. Centrifuge tubes are used to separate substances into their components.
  • The centrifugation process separates the sample from contaminants, leaving a viable sample for study. To further separate the two substances, analysts can use a pipette to remove a liquid sample from the tube.
  • Centrifuge tubes are mostly made of PP material because it can withstand high speed and is resistant to most organic solvents.
  • When using centrifuge tubes most of the time, you will only need to fill the centrifuge tube three-quarters full. Overfilling the tube can cause leaks. Except ultracentrifuge tubes need to fill the tubes to the top to avoid collapsing.

Cryo Vial:

  • Cryotubes are tubes made from autoclavable medical grade raw polypropylene, most materials will decompose at such low temperatures. Its chemical composition makes it non-polluting, and it is commonly used for the cryogenic storage of biological materials using liquid nitrogen.
  • After removal from cryogenic storage, liquid nitrogen may be infiltrated, which may suddenly expand (by a factor of 690) during its transition from gas to liquid phase. So its tube and cover have similar expansion coefficients, making the adaptation leakproof at different temperatures.
  • Its lid usually has an improvement to make it leak-proof. Sterilized by gamma radiation and certified free of all contaminants, detectable heavy metals, DNAse, RNAse, and pyrogen-free.
  • Caps are often caps with external or internal threads, and external screw caps are generally slightly larger.

Cryo Vial VS. Centrifuge Tube:

  • Centrifuge TubesThe biggest difference is the application, the centrifuge tube is used for centrifugation, and the cryopreservation tube is used for low temperature storage.
  • There are several options for the bottom shape of centrifuge vials, and cryovials are usually flat bottomed.
  • Centrifuge bottles have a wide range of capacities, from micro to large, and there are not so many types of cryovials.
  • The caps of centrifuge bottles are usually simple screw caps, and cryotubes have more complicated inner and outer screw caps.
  • Centrifuge bottles are mainly used for high-speed centrifugation design, while the design of cryotubes will consider the design of temperature change and expansion to ensure the safety of experiments, ordinary centrifuge tubes may not be able to withstand the temperature condition.

With these differences, of course, they can hardly be used interchangeably with each other. It’s not a big problem if it’s just a normal temporary use of sample reagents, but when it comes to freezing and centrifuging problems, it’s better to perform their own duties!

In fact, centrifuge tubes can be used as substitutes in many situations, but for cryopreservation tubes, try to avoid using centrifuge tubes instead. One thing, one use, each perform their duties. Centrifuge tubes are mainly designed for safe and stable centrifugation, while cryopreservation tubes are used for cryopreservation of cells. The uses of the two are very different, and it is dangerous to use them interchangeably. If you need to buy centrifuge tubes or learn more about it, Hawach is willing to be your reliable partner.