If you attended high school before laptops and tablet computers replaced books and used a landline to make phone calls, you’ve probably heard of CliffsNotes. Often used to help students figure out the intricacies of a novel that was required reading for English class, these handy pamphlets were a sort of a study guide highlighting the work’s key points.
In this blog, we’re offering you a CliffNotes version of tips for selecting a cell homogenizer that best meets your business needs. We’ll outline cell homogenization, often referred to as cell lysis, offer key factors for how best to achieve it and provide some benefits on it.
What is Cell Lysis?
Cell lysis, which takes place in biotech, pharmaceutical, food, cosmetic and chemical laboratories on a regular basis, is the rupture of the cell membrane resulting in the release of cell contents and the subsequent death of the cell. Research scientists and laboratory technicians disrupt the cell’s structure to extract organelles, proteins, DNA or mRNA.
Cell lysis can be achieved through mechanical or chemical methods. Mechanical cell lysis techniques include high shear mixing, traditional homogenization, sonication, grinding, freeze/thaw cycles and high-pressure homogenization. Chemical cell lysis techniques include osmotic lysis and the use of detergents, chelating agents or chaotropic agents.
In order for cell lysis to be performed successfully, the following factors should be present:
- Intracellular proteins should be accessible for extraction and solubilization.
- The process should be flexible, as different cells require different cell lysis strategies.
- The technique should result in a high yield in a short time.
- The process should be relatively easy to perform.
- Results should be consistently reproducible and scalable.
How Homogenization Helps
Of the methods used to achieve cell lysis, the most widely used is homogenization, which offers a multitude of benefits for production laboratories and the consumers who buy their products. It is especially useful for small volumes of cells and/or cultured ones and involves the use of shearing force on the cell. By forcing a small cell through an even smaller-sized orifice, homogenization removes the outer layer and lyses the cell. Some cell lysis products use utilize shear, and others employ sonic cavitation. However, the best choice when purchasing a homogenizer for cell lysis is one that uses shear, cavitation and impact and lets the user adjust the relative amount of each force for different applications.
The homogenizer you choose for cell lysis should be scalable to allow for customization in pressure and intensity, resulting in both cost and time efficiency for the user. It also must accommodate for multiple cell types and adjust for various sample sizes. Other factors to consider when selecting the right cell homogenizer are the force required to produce the highest yield in the least amount of time and the volume, efficiency, stability and sanitary standards compliance of the product. Advantages of using this type of homogenizer are:
- Accessibility of intracellular proteins.
- Built-in process flexibility.
- Ease-of-use and low learning curve.
- Reproducible and scalable results.
- Various sample size processing.
- Ability to disrupt all cell types.
- Better results in fewer passes.
BEEI International: Bringing the Best Homogenizers to You
BEE International offers numerous high-quality homogenizers to meet the needs of any industry for cell lysis. Our laboratory-grade models include the Nano DeBEE, Micro DeBEE and Mini DeBEE, all of which are easy to use, provide consistent and reliable results and easily scale up for full scale production. Plus, they offer maximum experimentation capabilities and the ability to change flow, pressure, shear and impact settings. Contact us today to learn more about our full line of homogenizers.