BEE International Blog

3 Steps in Preparing Beverage Emulsion

Posted by Deb Shechter on Sep 2, 2015 3:30:00 PM

3-steps-in-preparing-beverage-emulsionManufacturers in the beverage industry use emulsion (a.k.a. emulsification) in order to achieve desired drinkability standards, as well as control the visual appeal of the final product (e.g. viscosity, clarity, transparency, etc.).

In creating these ideal beverages, manufacturers have to keep in mind that efficiently mixing things that do not naturally want to mix (like oil and water products) and keeping these mixes from separating for a longer period of time can make all the difference.

Generally, there are 3 steps in preparing beverage emulsion: preparing the water phase and the oil phase; pre-homogenization; and homogenization. Below, we provide a brief overview of each step.

Step 1: Preparing the Water Phase and the Oil Phase

Preparing the water phase involves making a complete solution by dissolving the correct amounts of preservative, citric acid, coloring and gum. These ingredients must be added in this order (starting with preservative and ending with gum) to ensure that full dissolution is achieved.

Preparing the oil phase involves fully dissolving the weighted agent in the oil. The correct ratio of weight agent to oil depends on the amount that is allowed per regulation in the finished beverage. Generally, manufacturers will use the maximum allowable amount of weighting agent.

Step 2: Pre-homogenization

In the pre-homogenization step, the water is mixed with the oil (per step 1 described above) to create a premix, which breaks the oil into small oil droplets. Generally, the better the quality of the premix, the better the resulting emulsion. This is because low quality premix will have larger particles than a high quality premix, and thus during homogenization (step 3), more energy will be required to break the particles down – thus reducing the amount of energy that can be allocated to break down even smaller particles.

Therefore, by having equipment that can break down both premixes into the smallest possible particles, it will take less time and money to break these down further in Step 3 and to ensure that they’ll stay together as a mixture for a long time.

Step 3: Homogenization

During the homogenization step, the premix created in step 2 is pumped through the homogenizer’s valves at very high pressure. This creates turbulence and cavitation forces, which break the oil droplets down into fine particles.

Two-stage homogenization is required for beverage emulsions, in which the second stage provides back-end pressure that is controlled to achieve optimum efficiency, and also helps control the product’s viscosity.  

BEE International’s Homogenization Technology

Bee International’s proprietary homogenization technology delivers unprecedented beverage emulsion results. In fact, we specialize in oil and water emulsions, mixing the formula to achieve better results in less time. Our innovative equipment is trusted by beverage manufacturers worldwide because it consistently: 

  • Achieves the required particle size, with droplet sizes of approximately (or below) 100 nm (0.1 micron)

  • Creates particles so small and uniform, that beverages can be sterilized by running them through a 0.22 micron filter

  • Creates stable emulsions with particles at equilibrium

  • Extends product shelf life, which can dramatically lower costs and increase revenues

  • Enhances efficacy

  • Controls release

Learn more about BEE International’s acclaimed focus on particle size reduction by contacting us today.

Topics: microemulsions, Liquid Homogenization

Key Factors to Consider when Choosing Particle Size Reduction Equipment

Posted by Deb Shechter on Sep 2, 2015 12:30:00 PM

key-factors-to-consider-when-choosing-particle-size-reduction-equipmentA variety of industries – such as chemical, pharmaceutical, biotech, cosmetic, food, and others – rely on particle size reduction in their manufacturing processes. As one might expect, there are several particle size reduction equipment options available.

In this article, we highlight some key factors to consider when choosing the right particle size reduction equipment:

1. Material Properties

In choosing the right equipment, manufacturers need to know the properties of the materials that they wish to process. These properties include, but are not limited to:

  • The hardness of the resulting new surface area.

  • The toughness or weakness of the material (the weaker the material, the more brittle it is and therefore the more likely it can fracture during the particle size reduction process).

  • The bulk density.

  • The level of abrasiveness.

  • The amount of moisture content.

  • The level of toxicity.

  • The temperature sensitivity.

2. The Desired Particle Size Distribution

Manufacturers must also take into consideration the desired particle size distribution, since this is essential to the integrity or efficacy of the end product. The optimal distribution is often expressed via the Gaudin-Schuhmann equation, which is derived from the fact that softer materials produce more fines.

3. Whether it is Necessary or Desirable to Proceed in Stages

It is sometimes necessary or desirable for manufacturers to perform particle size reduction in a series of stages vs. a one-time process, since it can be more efficient (the exception would be if the manufacturer desires to produce extremely fine particles). As such, the right equipment would need to support this stage-by-stage particle size reduction approach and ensure that it was efficient and viable.

Bee International’s Property Technology

At BEE International, our proprietary equipment is designed specifically to break particles apart and achieve consistent, controlled particle size reduction for a variety of applications.

Unlike other equipment that applies only one mechanical force to mix a product, our equipment uses all mechanical forces to achieve optimum results, including: turbulence, cavitation, shear, and impact.

Furthermore, the process intensity can be easily adjusted with the turn of a dial from 2,000 - 45,000 psi/150 - 3100 bar, and the mixing forces noted above can be precisely calibrated to produce optimal results for a specific product. For example, turbulent premixing can be replaced with a laminar flow, cavitation can be intensified or reduced by adjusting nozzle size, shear process time can be longer or shorter, impact can be maximized (via reverse flow setup).

Learn more about our groundbreaking particle size reduction equipment by visiting

Topics: particle size reduction

How Drug Manufacturers are Using Pharmaceutical Nanoemulsions to Fight the Obesity Epidemic

Posted by Deb Shechter on Sep 1, 2015 12:30:00 PM

how-drug-manufacturers-are-using-pharmaceutical-nanoemulsions-to-fight-the-obesity-epidemicObesity is a severe health epidemic that affects millions of people around the world, and is particularly dangerous. It is potentially devastating and even possibly fatal for children and young adults. In light of this, pharmaceutical companies are working around-the-clock to fight the obesity epidemic – and one of the ways they are doing this is by creating new pharmaceutical nanoemulsions to improve the safety and efficacy of anti-obesity drugs.

What are Pharmaceutical Nanoemulsions?

Pharmaceutical nanoemulsions are typically a homogenous mixture comprised of oils and/or fats, which are dispersed throughout the aqueous continuous phase together with an emulsifier that has been deemed to be “Generally Recognized as Safe” (GRAS) by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The resulting oil-in-water (o/w) or water-in-oil (w/o) nanoemulsion is determined by the ratio of the liquids, the total liquid volume, the phase addition sequence, and the characteristics of the emulsifier used. Typically, pharmaceutical nanoemulsions are of the oil-in-water type; especially due to its masking effect, which makes ingesting the drugs more palatable and pleasant-tasting. Water-in-oil nanoemulsions are typically used to manufacture cosmetics (e.g. moisturizing creams).

How Drugs are Using Pharmaceutical Nanoemulsions to Fight Obesity

Per a study published in Nanomedicine (2014;9(18):2761-2772), researchers sought to create stable, biocompatible pharmaceutical nanoemulsions in order to administer N-oleoylethanolamines (OEA), which is a lipid mediator with a fatty acid-based structure that functions as a satiety factor (and is thus an anti-obesity agent), yet is characterized by poor water solubility. This limitation is a major problem, and causes many promising anti-obesity drugs to be rejected because of the challenges associated with their administration.

After testing the anorectic effects in rats, the researchers were successful in developing develop stable, non-toxic, and biocompatible pharmaceutical nanoemulsions for administrating OEA – thus opening the door to a more effective and safer delivery of anti-obesity drugs.

BEE International Technology and Creating Pharmaceutical Nanoemulsions

BEE International’s groundbreaking technology is used by drug manufacturers worldwide to create pharmaceutical nanoemulsions for a variety of applications, including the fight against obesity. Researchers and scientists who use our equipment:

  • Consistently achieve the desired particle size, with droplet sizes around or smaller than 100 nm

  • Develop stable pharmaceutical nanoemulsions, with particles at equilibrium

  • Create pharmaceuticals that have an extended product shelf life, increased efficacy, and controlled release

  • Leverage a mix of forces in a controlled manner, including cavitation, shear and impact

  • Accomplish their objectives using a cost effective and timely methodology

Learn more about our Pharmaceutical High Pressure Homogenizers at:

Topics: pharmaceutical industry, particle size reduction

Key Benefits of Particle Size Reduction: Part 1

Posted by Deb Shechter on Aug 31, 2015 2:30:00 PM


key-benefits-of-particle-size-reduction-part-1Particle size reduction is carried out in a number of industries, such as chemical, cosmetic, food and beverage, biotech, pharmaceutical and many others, in order to control the number and extent of chemical reactions that occur when the end product is used.

In this article, we present part 1 of our look at key benefits of particle size reduction. We will continue with part 2 in a subsequent blog post.

1. Increased Dissolution Rate

The smaller and finer the particles, the weaker the barriers to dissolution – which ultimately increases the dissolution rate. This is particularly beneficial in the pharmaceutical industry, where the efficacy and bioavailability of a drug can be directly affected by the speed of dissolution. It is also important to the cosmetic industry, as increased dissolution supports more rapid and total skin absorption.

2. Improved Drug Delivery

Some drugs are designed to be inhaled through the nose or mouth. However, as a natural defense mechanism, the human respiratory system is designed to filter out larger particles. Particle size reduction allows orally or nasally inhaled drugs to penetrate the lungs, and thus leads to greater efficacy.

3. Cleaning Product Health & Safety

Manufacturers of cleaning products for use in both industrial and household environments use particle size reduction, in order to ensure that the particles in their products cannot be inhaled by people or pets – and thus create a health hazard.

4. Controlling Rate of Reaction

As a principle, chemical reactions are much more likely to occur in fine/small particles relative to coarse/large particles. This principle in vital to manufacturers in a number of industries, such as cement manufacturers who need to determine the correct reaction rate in order to develop the desired cement product. Without applying particle size reduction, they would not be able to do this effectively and consistently.

5. Greater Density

Another key scientific principle is that small particles pack more densely than large particles. As such, manufacturers in many industries – such as the steel industry –use particle size reduction to reduce unoccupied volume (a.k.a. voidage).

6.  Greater Sedimentation Stability

Sedimentation occurs when suspended particles settle out of the fluid in which they are entrained, and rest against a barrier. Manufactures in the food industry rely on particle size reduction to achieve greater sedimentation stability, and thus to create a consistent end product.  

BEE’s Particle Size Reduction Technology

BEE International’s proprietary technology focuses on breaking particles apart. Unlike other technologies that apply one mechanical force to mix a product, our technology utilizes all available mechanical forces to achieve optimum results. To learn more about our groundbreaking technology, visit

Also, stay tuned for part 2 of our look at the key benefits of particle size reduction, which will be published shortly.


Topics: particle size reduction

A Look at 3 Liquid Homogenization Methods of Cell Lysis

Posted by Deb Shechter on Jul 27, 2015 12:30:00 PM


In the liquid homogenization method of cell lysis, samples are pushed through a small space and shear forces are used to disrupt cell walls. This method is common for researchers lysing cultured cells or small volumes.

There are primarily three types of liquid homogenizers used in life science laboratories around the world: Dounce homogenizer, Potter-Elvehjem homogenizer, and French press. But do any of them really get the job done? Below, we take a look at each method.

  • Dounce Homogenizer

Often used for gently lysing single cell suspensions, a Dounce homogenizer uses round glass pestles that are manually forced into a glass tube. While these glass pestles are relatively inexpensive, a major drawback of using a Dounce homogenizer is that the process is typically exceptionally time consuming, and it does not work well with large throughputs – thus making it impossible for researchers to efficiently scale up to manufacturing or clinical trials.

  • Potter-Elvehjem Homogenizer

Often used by researchers who need to disrupt cell walls but not cell tissue, a Potter-Elvehjem homogenizer involves mechanically or manually driving a polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) pestle into a conical or rounded-shaped vessel.  Many researchers opt for the manually driven pestles because, while less efficient, they are more affordable. 

  • French Press

Suitable for sample volumes between 40 – 250mL, a French press uses a piston to apply very high pressure to samples, thus forcing them through a very small hole. Compared to a Dounce homogenizer and a Potter-Elvehjem homogenizer, a French press is more efficient (requiring only two passes). However, throughput is low -- thus making it impractical or prohibitive for many researchers who are facing time constraints.

The BEE High Pressure Homogenizers Advantage

Two of the liquid homogenizers described above can ONLY use the mechanical force of impact achieve cell lysis. The French Press additionally employs shears but with little control. However, BEE technology is an in-line process that makes use of three cell disruption forces: shear, cavitation (like sonic mixing) and impact.

As a result, researchers can adjust these forces to be more gentle or harsh, and control the process to rupture a variety of cell types -- including more challenging cells like yeast and fungi – but without damaging tissue or other valuable intracellular materials. The bottom line is better yields in fewer passes, and results that are scaleable to manufacturing and clinical trials.

Learn more about our groundbreaking technology here.

To find out more key factors to consider when choosing a cell lysis method for your research, download our FREE eBook below!

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Topics: Liquid Homogenization

7 Cell Lysis Method Factors to Consider

Posted by Deb Shechter on Jul 24, 2015 11:30:00 AM

7-cell-lysis-method-factors-to-considerThere are several factors that life science researchers must keep in mind when choosing the optimal cell lysis method. Below, we highlight 7 key considerations:

1. Force Required 

In terms of strength, not all cell walls are created equal. Some, such as spores, are tougher and therefore require more force to disrupt, while others such as E. Coli are softer and require less force. Force, is related to intensity applied to cells whether it is a stronger concentration of chemical or an increase in mechanical forces exerted on the cell walls.

The ideal method provides the minimum force required to produce the highest yield of lysed cells in the least amount of time. In the laboratory, researchers need the ability to easily experiment and quickly find the ideal force for the cell lysis process.   

2. Volume & Sample Size

Researchers may work with small samples due to lack of product supply, or expensive product cost. But a method that only allows for small samples will prove time consuming when larger batches are required. The ideal laboratory method will allow the scientist to lyse small and medium batches of cells.

3. Scalability

While working with small samples is useful in the lab, time and money can be saved by using a scalable the cell lysis method.  Hopefully, the project at hand will generate enough interest to require larger batches, pilot testing and eventually commercialization. The ideal method will allow for a variety of sample sizes and must be scalable so that the results achieved in the laboratory can be duplicated in pilot and manufacturing.

4. Sample Variety

When purchasing equipment, your dollar will always go further with a versatile selection.  The ideal method can be used for a wide variety of cells as well as suspensions, emulsions, dispersions, liposomes, etc. 

It is also necessary to adjust to the number of different samples that will be disrupted concurrently. Failure to adjust the equipment and technology can result in diminished processing speed. Failure to clean equipment can also lead to low yield.  

5. Efficiency

Efficiency considerations are important to ensure the feasibility of scalability and to produce a high yield of the cellular material sought with the greatest ease. The ideal method will produce the highest percentage of lysed cells in the shortest amount of time. In the laboratory the amount of time and cost to lyse a batch of cells may not be critical. But in manufacturing it may make the difference between whether or not a product will be profitable.  Some cell lysis methods have an inherent trade off  between disruption efficiency and ensuring that sub-cellular components remain intact. This may be related to the type of cell being disrupted.

6. Product Stability

Once cell lysis has occurred, researchers must be prepared to protect the extracted proteins so that they can be isolated, examined, studied and experimented upon. The ideal method will maintain product stability to avoid denaturing of cells. Methods that cannot control factors such as normal biological processes, temperature change and oxidation will produce diminished yields.

7. Meeting Sanitary Standards

The Pharmaceutical and Biotech industries must comply with the highest Sanitary Standards  ...applications must conform to the stringent FDA and cGMP sanitary requirements. From welded components to the completed system care must be given to regulations are met and the safest, most effective pharmaceuticals and biotech products are produced. The ideal system must be easy to clean and designed for sanitary applications.

BEE Laboratory High Pressure Homogenizers

BEE Laboratory High Pressure Homogenizers are the preferred choice among research laboratory managers worldwide, because they are designed to easily support the widest range of experimentation. Also since cell lysis is one of the most common uses for this equipment, the critical factors described in this article have all been addressed.  

BEE systems offer the widest range of force (operating pressure) from 5 kpsi to 45 kpsi compared to other systems stop at 18, 23 or 30 kpsi. Increasing or decreasing force is as easy as turning a dial.

BEE technology is an in-line mixing process so one laboratory system can be used for sample sizes ranging from 20 ml to 25 liters per hour.

Not only do BEE laboratory systems produce a high yield of lysed cells for all cell types, but the ability to experiment with many options also produces the ideal process for a given product.

BEE high pressure homogenizing technology does generate heat which can cause damage to the precious cellular material. However our cell lysis systems include custom designed heat exchangers to maintain product temperature and avoid denaturing of cell materials.

They are also easy to clean and maintain, which lowers the risk of cross-contamination. Just as importantly, the technology used in our equipment is designed to deliver high yield with fewer passes, which is both time and cost efficient, and allows researchers to scale up to conduct clinical trials.

BEE systems are designed for sanitary applications and sanitary options are available to meet industry requirements. BEE systems offer Clean in Place (CIP) and are suitable for Clean Room environments.

Learn more about our laboratory high pressure homogenizers here.

To find more detail on these 7 cell lysis factors to consider, download our complimentary eBook today!

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Topics: cell lysis

A Look at 4 Common Downstream Applications Following Cell Lysis

Posted by Deb Shechter on Jul 23, 2015 12:30:00 PM

a-look-at-4-common-downstream-applications-following-cell-lysisAfter scientists disrupt cell membranes through the process of cell lysis and remove the biological material within, they carry out various downstream applications to fulfill their research goals and objectives. This article looks at 4 common downstream applications following cell lysis: protein purification, proteomics, Western blotting and immunoprecipitation.

Protein Purification

Prevalent in the biotech and pharmaceutical industries, protein purification involves several processes and specific tools designed to isolate one or a small number of proteins from the cell, so that the protein(s) function, structure and interaction can be studied.


Often used in disease treatment research, drug discovery and proteogenomics (studies based on proteomic data in order to improve gene annotations), proteomics is the large scale study of the full set of proteins produced by a system or organism; and in particular, their functions and structures. During proteomics, researchers purify and analyze proteins using various tools (e.g. electrophoresis systems, mass spectrophotometry systems, etc.). Proper tool selection depends on various factors, including the type of cell, the biological system of interest, and time, size and budget limitations faced by the laboratory. 

Western blotting

Western blotting (a.k.a. immunoblotting) is a common downstream application that uses antibodies to help researchers identify specific proteins from a sample. There are three aspects of the western blotting process: 1) separating the extracted proteins based on size; 2) transferring the proteins to a solid support such as an enzyme or fluorescent dye; 3) visualizing the target protein via chemiluminescent or chemifluorescent detection reagents, or by using the fluorescent tag.


Immunoprecipitation – often referred to in research literature by the acronym IP – is a process that leverages the antigen-antibody reaction principle in order to enable the purification or a protein (or a protein complex), so that researchers can examine physical characteristics or quantity. There are typically four steps in the process: 1) the proteins extracted via cell lysis are suitably precipitated; 2) the immune complex is captured on a solid support upon which Protein G or Protein B has been immobilized; 3) elements that bind to the immune complex are removed via elution from the support; 4) researchers further analyze the immunoprecipited proteins as per their plans.  

BEE International High Pressure Homogenizers: Designed for Downstream Applications

All of our high pressure homogenizers are designed to support a wide range of downstream applications, including (but not limited) to those described in this article. We accomplish this  by producing the highest yield cell lysis in the shortest amount of time. Each of the systems in our line-up consistently produce the same results, have a reputation for lasting reliability, scale up to pilot and clinical trial settings, and use in-line processes to reduce costs by achieving better results in less time.  

Learn more about our groundbreaking high pressure homogenizers here! Before you get to your downstream applications, need more information on the cell lysis process and which process is best, download our FREE eBook "7 Key Factors to Consider When Choosing a Cell Lysis Method".

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Topics: cell lysis

An Overview of Subcellular Fractionation

Posted by Deb Shechter on Jul 22, 2015 11:30:00 AM

an-overview-of-subcellular-fractionationSubcellular fractionation is the process separating the membrane-bound organelles within eukaryotic cells, which are found in the kingdoms Protista, Plantae, Fungi and Animalia. All eukaryotic cells share certain general features, including:

  • They all have a nucleus.

  • They are 10x larger than prokaryotic cells (which do not have an organized nucleus).

  • They are enclosed by a plasma membrane.  

  • Their cytoplasm is made of cytosol and ribosomes.

  • They have an internal cytoskeleton.

  • Their extra-cellular matrix is comprised of proteins and glycoproteins.

  • Locomotion is achieved through flagella or cilia.

Reasons for Subcellular Fractionation  

There are a couple of key reasons why life science researchers need to conduct subcellular fractionation. The first is to learn more about a protein’s function and where it resides. The second is to improve the results of immunoprecipitations (such as removing unwanted proteins).

Protocol Selection

Prior to subcellular fractionation, researchers must determine what aspect of the organelles within eukaryotic cells they wish to study, such as protein activity, organelle morphology, protein composition, and so on. There are several protocols available to assist researchers once they have determined their research goals.   

Subcellular Fractionation Protocol Steps

Generally, there are 4 subcellular fractionation protocol steps as follows:

  • Step 1: Cell Lysis

The correct cell lysis method depends on a number of factors, including protein type, the organelle within the eukaryotic cells that researchers want to examine, and various downstream applications (e.g. protein purification, proteomics, X-ray crystallography, Western blotting, immunoprecipitation, etc.).

  • Step 2: Subcellular Fractionation

Next, researchers use centrifuging in a high viscosity media (such as sucrose, glycerol or Percoll) in order to achieve subcellular fractionation. A number of factors must be taken into consideration here to ensure that the process is efficient, cost-effective, and yields the best possible results.  

  • Step 3: Collect Fractions

Researchers then collect fractions by a process of gently pipetting through the high viscosity media.

  • Step 4: Assess Results

Lastly, researchers verify and assess their results by (for example) running fractions on a Western blot.

BEE International’s Proprietary Technology

BEE International’s proprietary technology is designed to utilize all available mechanical forces to help researchers break particles apart – unlike other technologies, which apply just one mechanical force to mix a product.  As a result, researchers can achieve the ideal process for producing the highest yield of viable lysed cells in the shortest amount of time, increasing manufacturing efficiency, and reducing costs!

Learn more about our groundbreaking, proprietary technology here and for selecting the right method of cell lysis to get to the membrane-bound organelles you desire, download our FREE eBook "7 Factors to Consider When Choosing a Cell Lysis Method".

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What to Consider in Designing a Protein Purification Buffer

Posted by Deb Shechter on Jul 21, 2015 11:30:00 AM

what-to-consider-in-designing-a-protein-purification-bufferDuring cell lysis, the extracted proteins can become denatured or damaged. They can also separate from the assay solution, or be contaminated by exposure to lipids, DNA, and other irrelevant cell components. To avoid this from happening, researchers use a buffer solution, which helps ensure the integrity and stability of the proteins. Below, we look at some key factors to consider in designing a suitable protein purification buffer.  

  • Buffer System

Buffer systems are designed to resist change in the assay solution’s pH. These systems have significant amounts of weak acid and its conjugate base (formed when the acid donates a proton), or a weak base and its conjugate acid added to the assay solution. The goal is to create a buffer that has a pKa value within a single pH unit of the optimal pH.

  • pH Level

Speaking of pH: researchers need to identify the suitable pH level for the protein of interest. Many researchers aim for pH 7.4, because this considered the healthiest pH level for blood (specifically, between 7.35pH – 7.45pH), and therefore aligns with ideal biological conditions.

  • Additives & Agents

Researchers also need to add various additives or agents to the buffer in order to enhance protein solubility and stability. Examples include bovine serum albumin (a.k.a. BSA or Fraction V), which derives from cows, or small amounts of citrate or detergents. Researchers may also need to add viscosity, which can be done by adding an agent like polyethylene glycol (a polyether compound).

  • Salt

Researchers often use salt to both enhance protein solubility and stability, as well as align with ideal or desired biological conditions. Often, the salt concentration must be modified (via dialysis of the protein in a new buffer) while protein purification is taking place, in order to avoid nonspecific interactions, and to detect ionic interactions.   

  • Reducing Agents

If oxidation is a risk factor, then researchers may need to add reducing agents to their protein purification bugger, such as DTT, TCEP, 2-mercaptoethanol etc. Many researchers prefer TCEP because it acts in a broader range of pH, and because it’s very stable. However, it is quite costly, which makes it prohibitive in some research programs.   

The Bottom-Line: It’s All About Yield!

When it comes to cell lysis and examining isolated proteins, the objective that all life science researchers have – and especially laboratory managers -- is the same, regardless of whether they work in the food industry, biotech, pharmaceutical field, or anywhere else: it’s all about yield!

At Bee International, all of our laboratory homogenizers are built for reliability, and designed to produce repeatable and scalable results, so that researchers can maximize yield in the fewest passes possible – and ultimately scale up to manufacturing or clinical trial as rapidly, reliably and cost-effectively as possible. Learn more here.

Now that you've decided on a buffer, which cell lysis method are you going to use? Before deciding on a perfect method, download our latest FREE eBook "7 Key Factors to Consider When Choosing a Cell Lysis Method" below!

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3 Best Practices for Preventing Contamination in Life Science Laboratories

Posted by Deb Shechter on Jul 16, 2015 12:30:00 PM


3-best-practices-for-preventing-contamination-in-life-science-laboratoriesBiological contamination is a constant threat in life science laboratories, and there is frankly no “bulletproof” way to prevent it. Yet with that being said, there are certainly proven ways to help minimize the risk of contamination, which not only saves time and money, but even more importantly, helps keep laboratory personnel safe.

With this in mind, here are 3 best practices to maintain the integrity of cell cultures, and promote a safe laboratory environment: 

1. Use Appropriate Lab Design

It is important that the lab has a specific area that is only used for cell culture. This area should be as far away as is practical from high-traffic areas, and it should only be accessed by authorized personnel. HVAC units, sinks, and other items or equipment should also be placed accordingly so as to minimize accidents or contamination. This is because the back splash from sinks can be a source of microbial contamination, and poorly-placed HVAC units can blow mold spores into the cell culture area.

2. Use Correct Culturing Procedures

All lab personnel should be trained to follow correct culturing procedure, which includes proper aseptic techniques. For example, it is vital to work with one cell at a time in order to avoid unintentional switching of cell lines, which can ultimately lead to flawed and unreliable data. It is also important to test for mycoplasma on a monthly basis, as well as to avoid routine antibiotics, as these can hide the existence of underlying contamination. And of course, Good Pipetting Practice (GPP) is essential to support sample integrity and accuracy. 

3. Use Suitable Cleaning Procedures 

It is necessary to implement standardized laboratory cleaning and disinfecting processes, and to ensure that they pertain to both work and non-work surfaces – since such surfaces rapidly collect potential contaminants such as dust. A sufficiently-stocked Biological Safety Cabinet (BSC) is also critical, and it should be placed in an area that is accessible, ensures appropriate air flow and filtration, and of course, prevents contamination. 

Also keep in mind that the BSC is exposed to microorganisms every time the door is opened. As such, advanced incubator design is required. For example, some incubator designs feature HEPA filtration that establishes ISO 5 cleanroom conditions within five minutes of the door opening. Other designs use a 100% pure copper internal chamber and components, and use high temperature decontamination. And there are also designs that feature CO2 sensors and humidity control.

The Bottom-Line

Although, as noted above, it is impossible to 100% prevent the possibility of contamination in laboratory science environments, there certainly are proven ways to mitigate the risk. These include appropriate lab design, correct culturing procedures, and suitable cleaning procedures. 

BEE International Laboratory High Pressure Homogenizers

At BEE International, our laboratory high pressure homogenizers are designed for sanitary applications, easy to clean and maintain, which make them an essential part of an overall system to help reduce the risk of contamination in life science laboratories -- which saves money and time, and helps keep laboratory personnel safe and out of harm’s way.

Learn more about our laboratory high pressure homogenizers here! Thinking about maintaining the integrity of your cells, but not sure which cell lysis method will be best? Download our complimentary eBook below!

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Topics: Biotechnology, Contamination

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