How BEE International is Helping Scientists Develop a Coronavirus Vaccine

Posted by Deb Shechter on May 1, 2020 7:42:10 PM

covid-19 vaccine development Doing our part to equip scientists with the tools they need to produce a COVID-19 vaccine as fast as possible.

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected nearly every aspect of society –– from the way businesses operate to the way individuals spend their own free time. We are currently living in an unprecedented moment, and, while measures like social distancing can slow the spread of the virus, only a vaccine will be able to effectively halt its progress. The development of a vaccine for COVID-19 could save millions of lives and help prevent the suffering of countless others.

At BEE International, we’re committed to doing our part to equip scientists with the tools they need to combat COVID-19 and to produce a vaccine as fast as possible. We are the leading manufacturer of high-pressure homogenizers, which can play a crucial role in developing a vaccine for COVID-19.

 

Researching COVID-19 Therapies and Vaccines

Vaccines stimulate the immune system to create antibodies meant to combat a virus or bacteria.

In order to produce a vaccine, scientists must generate an antigen. This is typically done by growing small amounts of a virus in various cells. From there, scientists can isolate the antigen (in this case the virus) from other materials such as proteins. After that, scientists will then attempt to purify and strengthen the antigen to produce an eventual immune-system response. The final step of the vaccination development process is scaling up to widespread distribution.

 

Homogenization

Homogenization is all about breaking particles apart. High-pressure homogenization involves blending, grinding, and/or mixing substances to reduce particle size and rupture cells.

Homogenization plays a part in vaccine research and manufacturing on two fronts:

  • Cell disruption, also known as cell rupture and cell lysis, gently breaks open the cell walls to harvest naked intracellular viruses. Additional particles of the virus can sometimes be found in the extracellular materials as well. Homogenization disrupts cells to obtain a high yield of virus without damage or alteration.
  • Water-in-oil emulsions serve as the carrier of vaccines –– the means to transport the medicine into the body and to induce the desired immune response. The stability of such emulsions greatly affects vaccine safety and efficacy. Homogenization is the most rapid and convenient method for creating emulsions that can form aggregates. In turn, those aggregates can be transported into the body and stably release therapies for the induction of immune response.

 

A small particle size, ideally in the nano range, within the emulsion has increased benefits in terms of rapid delivery and absorption. High-pressure homogenizers are best suited to reduce particle size. Highly controllable and efficient BEEI technology is ideally suited to develop the most efficient protocol

Entering into the development of vaccines and therapeutics, it is critical to select R&D instruments that can quickly scale up for manufacturing purposes. Thankfully, BEE Homogenizers are highly scalable. That means the same results created in the laboratory can be reproduced in pilot and manufacturing stages as well. Our homogenizers are also designed for sanitary applications and meet industry standards, validations, and regulations.

 

Conclusion

The COVID-19 outbreak is a difficult time for all, which is why we’re doing our utmost to work with scientists to produce a vaccine. Contact us here for more information about our products and services. 

 

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Myths About CBD Manufacturing

Posted by Deb Shechter on Mar 30, 2020 10:40:00 AM

CBD ManufacturingThe CBD industry is a large and competitive one. Since the 2018 Farm Bill that legalized hemp and CBD at the federal level was signed into law a year and a half ago, the market for CBD and other hemp-related products has continued to grow, creating a booming cottage industry that is posed to hit $20 billion by the end of the 2024. While exciting, its rapid rise has made the CBD industry a hard one to fully understand. Constantly changing legislation and many unfounded claims can confuse even the most educated aficionado. Here’s what you need to know about CBD and CBD manufacturing:

 

Myth 1: CBD is the Same as Cannabis

It’s not. CBD is one of many chemicals found in the resin of the cannabis — or “marijuana” — plant. (THC, for instance, is another.) There are several strains of cannabis and when one of them is cultivated to produce a lower concentration of THC and a higher concentration of CBD, the plant is called “hemp,“ not marijuana. Hemp, unlike marijuana, is grown for industrial purposes, with its fibers used to make paper, textiles, plastics, biofuel and more. In this way, CBD can be harvested from both cannabis and hemp plants. The source doesn’t affect the molecular makeup of CBD, but it can influence the amount of contaminants, as well as the amount of other cannabinoids, flavonoids and terpenes, introduced to the CBD manufacturing process. This is because there are different agricultural regulations for growing hemp around the world, leading to possible exposure to pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, etc., and differing concentrations of other compounds depending on the type of plant used (which could be inadvertently harvested along with the CBD). Furthermore, the source also determines the amount of CBD that can be harvested from a single plant. For example: marijuana plants produce more resin than hemp. Since CBD is found in resin, it follows that cannabis yields more CBD per plant than hemp.

 

Myth 2: CBD Manufacturing is Regulated

Yes and no. Most states have regulations governing the manufacture of products containing CBD, but many of these are vague with little standardization of safety and potency guidelines. Not only is there no agreement regarding the minimum requirement for effectiveness and reliability in CBD manufacturing, there’s no one list defining the exact analytes, contaminants, mycotoxins, etc., for which manufacturers should even test. This means different CBD manufacturers offer products with varying levels of quality, making it hard for consumers to know what they are actually getting when they pull a CBD product off the shelf.

 

 

What It All Means for CBD Manufacturing

It’s time for CBD manufacturers to dispel the myths. With all eyes on cannabis products and their effects, one bad product can easily taint public opinion and serve as misinformation about the industry at large. Thus, CBD manufacturers must actively work to distinguish themselves as experts in safety and quality in order to gain consumer trust and remain competitive. The best way to do that: standardize and verify manufacturing processes with quality equipment. BEE International homogenizers render CBD products that meet and even exceed even the most rigorous testing criteria. Equipped with a patented and proprietary emulsifying system that combines multiple forces (including shear, cavitation and impact) to effectively break apart and then mix the components of CBD products, our machines guarantee uniformity and long-lasting shelf stability each and every manufacturing pass. Our homogenizers not only create better looking and better tasting products, they increase the bioavailability of the CBD compound by maximizing surface area to allow increased dissolution and absorption of it by up to 75%. Indeed, our equipment facilitates the absorption of more active ingredient so well that manufacturers can use less of it, reducing costs and shortening production times. It’s a win for manufacturers and consumers alike. To learn how BEE International homogenizers could improve your production processes, your products and your ROI, please contact our office.

 

You might also like to download our free eBook, “3 Reasons Why High Pressure Homogenizers Are The Right Choice for Nano Cannabinoid Formulations,” for additional facts detailing the value of cannabinoid homogenization.

 

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Everything You Need to Know About the Homogenization of Cells

Posted by Deb Shechter on Jan 31, 2020 12:13:15 PM

homogenization of cellsThe homogenization of cells refers to the process by which all components of a biological sample are made equal. By breaking down cell membranes/walls, it allows for the thorough mixing of a sample’s cellular contents. The result: a sample that has a consistent and uniform molecular make-up. Here’s everything you need to know about cell homogenization:

 

The Homogenization Process

The homogenization of cells is basically a cell lysis technique meant to release the intercellular contents of cells so that they can be better accessed, maintained and/or mixed. There are other ways to disrupt (or lyse) cells, such as cryopulverization, nitrogen decompression and more, but the most popular method is homogenization. Homogenization uses one or more types of mechanical force to break apart and mix the components of a sample. When used with biological materials, cell homogenization allows scientists to isolate and study the contents of cells and manufacturers to make better products.

 

Why You Should Homogenize Cells

There are many reasons to choose cell homogenization over other cell lysis methods, the most significant being that different types of cells require different disruption techniques. For instance, some cells are fragile and need a more sensitive means for cell lysis lest the entire cell be destroyed during the process. Some cells have tough outer matrices or walls, warranting a more extreme cell lysis force in order for valuable intercellular contents to be reached. Some cells need enzymes or other reagents added to them to facilitate lysis, and in other cases, the cell lysis procedure itself either creates or relies on a certain temperature that can comprise or otherwise negate optimal results. The considerations are varied and wide-ranging with everything from the cost of the equipment, the size of the sample and stability, reproducibility and scaling problems to even physical space constraints (to accommodate the size of the equipment) also affecting the selection of one cell lysis method over another.

 

The Value of High Pressure Homogenization of Cells

Here at BEE International, we believe that homogenization — specifically, high pressure homogenization — affords the best value for many scientists and manufacturers alike. Our high pressure homogenizers offer a customizable approach to the cell homogenization process, with our patented Emulsifying Cell (EC) technology allowing you to control the type and duration of the force(s) used according to multiple cell types. Indeed, our proprietary homogenizing system can rupture cell walls and membranes without damaging any other crucial cell components, making our equipment effective, efficient and extremely competitive. If you would like to learn more about the homogenization of cells and how high pressure homogenizers can improve your productivity, as well as strengthen the quality of the products you test and create, please contact us. We believe cell homogenization offers countless benefits when used as a part of many research and manufacturing processes.

 

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Pasteurization vs. Sterilization: What’s the Difference?

Posted by Deb Shechter on Jan 16, 2020 11:08:34 AM

Pasteurization vs. SterilizationWhile the terms “pasteurization” and “sterilization” are sometimes used interchangeably, each is actually a separate process offering unique benefits. Knowing the difference between the two will help you understand why scientists and manufacturers from a wide range of industries choose to use one over the other as they test and create food items, drugs, cosmetics, chemicals and more. Keep reading for a quick overview of the pasteurization vs. sterilization processes:

 

Pasteurization

Pasteurization refers to the application of low level heat to food so that the harmful microorganisms and enzymes in it are either killed or deactivated. By eliminating these pathogens, pasteurization helps preserve many types of food items and prevents food-borne illness and disease upon their consumption. Since only a mild heat is applied, the treated food experiences just a small reduction in nutritional value and little change to its sensory qualities, making pasteurization a great preservation and safety tool for many food products.

 

Sterilization

Sterilization, on the other hand, refers to the process by which all microorganisms are killed or removed from an object or substance. Unlike pasteurization, which usually relies on heat to kill pathogens, sterilization can be achieved via several different means, including high pressure, chemicals and radiation, and can be applied to multiple types of products (not just food).

 

So, How Does Homogenization Fit In?

When considering pasteurization vs. sterilization, it’s easy to also wonder about homogenization. Homogenization is the process by which one substance is broken into uniform parts and thoroughly mixed with another. Different types of homogenizers rely on different forces to reduce particle size and facilitate this mixing — from turbulence, impact and shear to ultrasonic sound waves and high pressure.

Of course, first and foremost, homogenizers are meant to homogenize, but our high pressure homogenizers here at BEE International have the added benefit of effectively pasteurizing many food items, too. During high pressure homogenization (HPH), a sample is exposed to extreme pressure and pushed through tiny holes which breaks the its cellular bonds, reduces its particle size and allows it to be better mixed with another substance. This process doesn’t just allow for better mixing, though; it kills many pathogenic organisms, as well.

Thermal pasteurization is still the most common pasteurization method, but in 2004, the National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods (NACMCF) issued a report requesting that “pasteurization” be redefined to include "any process, treatment, or combination thereof, that is applied to food to reduce the most resistant microorganism(s) of public health significance to a level that is not likely to present a public health risk under normal conditions of distribution and storage” (i.e., pasteurization can be accomplished via means other than heat). Indeed, many food manufacturers are pushing for increased reliance on high pressure pasteurization since it has the potential not only to reduce nutritional degradation, but to enhance it due to physical and chemical changes that occur when certain foods are exposed to high pressure. Current studies even show promise in using ultra high pressure homogenization for sterilization; there’s little doubt that it’s an exciting time for high pressure homogenizers!

 

Want to Learn More?

If you’re wondering how high pressure homogenization might benefit your pasteurization processes or have other questions regarding pasteurization vs. sterilization methods, please contact us. Our patented emulysifying cell technology affords many advantages; we would be happy to review your needs and help you choose a homogenizing system that will improve your manufacturing or research procedures and boost your productivity, as well as strengthen the quality of the products you test and create.

Feel free to also download our complimentary eBook, “How to Achieve Efficient & Consistent Particle Size Reduction,” for additional information on the value of high pressure homogenization.

 

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How to Pick the Right Homogenizer for Colloidal Suspensions

Posted by Deb Shechter on Dec 26, 2019 12:34:22 PM

colloidal suspensionsWhen choosing a homogenizer for a particular application, it’s important to first understand the differences among solutions, colloids and suspensions. Each is a type of mixture, and a mixture is one of the end results of the homogenization process. Thus, picking the right homogenizer directly influences the quality of the mixture you create.

 

What are the Difference Among Solutions, Colloids and Suspensions?

A solution is a homogenous mixture where one substance (the solute) is completed dissolved into another (the solvent). Solutions can be a combination of any two phases (solid, liquid or gas), but they always result in a single, continuous one. A colloid, on the other hand, is a heterogenous mixture with particles that are bigger (1-1,000 nm) than those of a solution (<1 nm) but smaller than those in a suspension; because of their size, particles in a colloid do not allow light to pass through the mixture, instead scattering it back outward in a process known as the Tyndall Effect. They are not so big, however, that they aren’t able to stay fully mixed, with components unable to be separated by filtration, time or rest. Last, but not least, a suspension is also a heterogenous mixture. Its particles are bigger than those found in both solutions and colloids; they are so large, in fact, that gravity is able to pull them down and settle them at the bottom of the mixture when it’s not being actively mixed.

 

What Should You Look for in a Homogenizer for Colloidal Suspensions

Colloidal mills are a type of “rotor-stator” or “high shearmixer specifically designed to work with colloid suspensions. As such, their function is to reduce particle size so that two substances can be mixed together more easily. The shearing force of the spinning rotor effectively disrupts molecular bonds within a sample and reduces particle size. They are most often used for mixing together two liquids, a solid with a liquid and/or highly viscous materials. However, colloid mills can’t be run continuously because they consume large amounts of energy, which could potentially contaminate any resulting product mixture. Thus, instead of assuming that a colloid mill is the only option for use with colloidal suspensions, users should consider a homogenizer that affirms the following questions:

Does it Reduce Particle Size? ✔️

Does it Reduce the Number of Passes? ✔️

Does it Help Preserve the Product? ✔️

 

Unlike a colloidal mill, a homogenizer is better able to reduce particle size so that resulting mixtures are much more consistent and uniform. Indeed, we believe our high pressure homogenizers here at BEE International are the best option for colloidal suspensions because they utilize a proprietary combination of high pressure, shear, cavitation, turbulence and impact force to break down and blend samples without the violence and possible degradation of product that can be associated with a singular shear force. Furthermore, our machines can be customized to control the duration, intensity and dominant force used at every stage of the mixing process, making it less likely that multiple passes will be needed to get a desired result. This saves you time and money.

Finally, all homogenizers help preserve products since they facilitate a tight distribution of particles; a tighter distribution of particles means there is more stability, allowing components of a sample to stay bound for longer periods of time and, thus, engendering the improved viscosity, consistency, texture, appearance and flavor (when applicable), as well as the bioavailability, of the products being made. High pressure homogenizers like ours even kill harmful microbes that frequently jeopardize the colloid suspension’s shelf life and quality.

 

Want to Learn More?

Picking a homogenizer to use with colloidal suspensions is best determined by its ability to confer the most benefits. In addition to generating well mixed samples, a BEE International high pressure homogenizer offers tighter particle distribution, improved stability, better preservation and increased manufacturing productivity when compared to other types of homogenizers and mixers. Contact us to learn more.

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3 Answers to the Most Frequently Asked Questions About Tissue Tearors

Posted by Deb Shechter on Dec 16, 2019 4:57:55 PM

tissue tearorUnless you’re in the homogenizer-making business (like we are), you might not realize the vast variety of homogenizers that exist. Homogenizers come in all shapes and sizes, from small, handheld whisks to large, industrial machines that exceed the size of some cars! Depending on the desired effect, as well as the volume and consistency of the sample being processed, researchers and manufacturers choose certain types of homogenizers to use over others; one such example is the tissue tearor. Take a look at the three most common questions people have about tissue tearors, along with our answers:

 

What is a Tissue Tearor?

There are three basic kinds of homogenizers: mechanical, ultrasonic and pressure homogenizers. A tissue tearor is a mechanical homogenizer (specifically a rotor-stator one) that is used to homogenize soft tissue samples.

 

How Does a Tissue Tearor Work?

As a rotor-stator homogenizer, a tissue tearor uses a quickly spinning blade (rotor) inside a fixed shaft (stator) to facilitate the lysing of cells, as well as the homogenization of soft tissue samples. The rotor-stator unit (probe) is attached to a motor and can be changed according to the size and type of sample being processed, with different rotor diameters, lengths and blade tips offering different effects. As the rotor rotates within the stator, the resulting suction force pulls the sample (and the liquid in which it has been placed) up and and back out through openings within the stator, effectively shearing the sample. In addition, the rapid collision of the solid blade with the fast-moving liquid/sample mixture creates a change in pressure that leads to the formation of vapor bubbles. These gas-filled cavities expand and eventually collapse, causing a shock wave that further breaks apart the sample in a process known as cavitation. Between the shearing and cavitation forces, tissue tearors are well-suited to homogenize samples with a viscosity up to approximately 10,000 centipoises (such as molasses or syrup).

 

What are the Drawbacks of Tissue Tearors?

Most tissue tearors are best-suited to processing liquid samples up to 1 liter in volume and must be matched to the type of tissue being processed since using too much or too thick of a sample could degrade the homogenizing process altogether. Furthermore, using too small or too large of a tissue homogenizer with the wrong type of probe tip (flat bottom vs. sawtooth) could lead to increased processing times and additional heat generation, thus compounding sample degradation and leading to ineffective homogenization, as well.

 

Have More Questions?

Of course, these are just a few of the initial questions you might have while learning about homogenizers and their applications. If you have more, please contact our team here at BEE International. We can help you consider the pros and cons of all homogenizing systems so that you are able to choose the right and most affordable equipment for your own unique needs.

 

Feel free to also download our complimentary eBook, "7 Key Factors to Consider When Choosing a Cell Lysis Method," for additional information about cell lysis and tissue homogenization.

 

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What is the Purpose of Homogenization?

Posted by Deb Shechter on Nov 21, 2019 1:00:00 PM

purpose of homogenizationHomogenization is the process by which a sample is broken into identical parts so that removing one portion of it does not disrupt and still accurately reflects the remaining sample’s molecular composition. In many instances, it is also used to thoroughly mix together naturally immiscible substances; when a sample is reduced to tiny, uniform pieces, it is easier for manufacturers and scientists to combine it with another sample, creating many of the products used across a wide variety of industries.

Here’s a brief overview of the purpose of homogenization:

 

To Reduce Particle Size

First and foremost, the purpose of homogenization is to reduce the size of the particles making up a sample. In simple terms, it’s a bit like taking a boulder and smashing it into gravel, except, in this case, the gravel pieces would be all the same size and shape. During homogenization, many samples can be reduced to nanometer-sized particles. This makes it easier for manufacturers to produce things like adhesives, resins, paints and creams/lotions and guarantee that they work.

 

To Lyse Cells

For the molecular and cellular biology fields, one of the most common purposes of homogenization is to breach the cell wall and/or membrane and expose the intracellular contents of cells. This is necessary when scientists need to make biological samples for further study, experimentation and research.

 

To Kill Pathogens

One the the added benefits of many homogenization techniques is the destruction of pathogens within a sample. There are several kinds of homogenizers (mechanical, high pressure and ultrasonic), each using one or more specific types of force. As a by-product of the processing method each force facilitates, many homogenizers render samples with varying levels of sterility. For instance, high pressure homogenizers can effectively kill microorganisms in food samples. Other homogenizers that produce high levels of heat (most mechanical homogenizers) can kill various pathogens, as well, but the accompanying heat frequently degrades the overall sample. Thus, it’s important to pick the right kind of homogenizing equipment if product sterility is a requisite goal.

 

To Facilitate Stable Emulsions and Dispersions

Finally, the purpose of most homogenizers is to mix substances well. Reducing the size of the particles in a substance allows it to more readily and easily combine with the particles of another substance. It also allows all of the particles to remain mixed for a longer period of time. This is especially important for products that need to be consistent in appearance, taste, texture, viscosity and/or nutritional value for the length of their shelf lives, like cosmetics, food and beverage items and pharmaceuticals.

 

The BEE International Advantage

Homogenization offers a host of benefits, and we here at BEE International believe our high pressure homogenizers are the best choice, offering advantages that would otherwise necessitate the purchase of multiple types of equipment instead of just one! Our patented Emulsifying Cell (EC) technology, along with our proprietary combination of multiple homogenizing forces, mean our homogenizers have the ability to create more stable products with longer shelf lives in shorter amounts of time with fewer passes than our competition. Please contact us to capitalize on all the purposes of homogenization or if you're interested in the particle size reduction side of homogenization, download our free eBook now:

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The Pros and Cons of High Shear Homogenizers

Posted by Deb Shechter on Nov 4, 2019 9:22:00 AM

high shear homogenizersThere are many types of homogenizers. From basic blenders to refrigerator-sized ultrasonic equipment, different homogenizers work in and for a variety of different applications. This means choosing the right homogenizer for a specific job is a critical one. Pick the wrong homogenizer and you risk less than optimal results, some of which can cost you valuable time and money, as well as jeopardize the integrity of the products you create and/or the health of the people you serve.

 

In this blog, we take a look at high shear homogenizers. Also known as rotor-stator homogenizers, high shear mixers are one specific kind of mechanical homogenizer.
Mechanical homogenizers, as opposed to high pressure or ultrasonic ones, use a physical force to break apart a substance; in this case, a rapidly spinning rotor draws a sample into a stationary outer sheath (called a “stator”), where it is then pushed through many small openings and broken into small pieces. The rotor’s pull and the stator’s expulsion creates a significant force that consequently shears the sample apart, permitting it to be mixed more effectively in subsequent applications as needed. But while high shear mixers can be applied in a variety of ways with several associated benefits, a few potential issues do exist. Take a look at the pros and cons of the high shear homogenizer:

 

The Pros of High Shear Homogenizers

High shear homogenizers operate at a high velocity to pull, push and break apart a sample. Thus, they generate substantially smaller particles than some other kinds of homogenizers and are an especially good option for the following applications:

    1. Particle Size Reduction/Sub-Micron Homogenization

    2. Soft Tissue Homogenization

    3. Emulsification

    4. Cell Disruption and/or Isolation

    5. Organelle Extraction

 

Furthermore, high shear homogenizers often generate favorable results in a relatively short amount of time with minimal residual heat produced. Many models can be customized according to sample volume, rotor speed, processing time and energy input, with the option of using different probes to afford different effects being one of their most appealing and useful qualities.

 

The Cons of High Shear Homogenizers

On the other hand, high shear mixers are not very efficient with tough tissue samples, lysols or foams. And not all come with the probe(s) you will need for your specific task(s). Indeed, the fact that high shear homogenizers use probes at all means they are not as well-suited to processing large amounts of multiple samples at the same time since they have to be swapped out and cleaned between runs. In addition, because pieces of a sample must fit within the confines of the probe and its accompanying rotor and stator parts in order to be homogenized, some samples might need to be pre-processed, broken apart just so that they can fit into the homogenizer at all! Of course, should this circumstance arise, time-effective processing would obviously be negated. Finally, although high shear homogenizers don’t give off an excessive amount of heat, particularly temperature-sensitive samples might require that you add a cooling method to your homogenizing processes, thereby extending your processing time and costs.

 

The BEE International Difference

Picking the right homogenizer can be a tricky endeavor. If you need assistance matching your needs with the right piece of equipment, please contact a member of our team here at BEE International. We offer a variety of high-quality homogenizers featuring our proprietary and patented Emulsyfying Cell (EC) technology which, along with our combination of customizable forces (think: high shear meets sonication meets impact!) , guarantees you the most reliable and effective results no matter the application.

 

Feel free to also download our complimentary eBook, “7 Key Factors to Consider When Choosing a Cell Lysis Method,” for additional tips on choosing a homogenizer that meets your needs and maximizes your resources.

 

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How Do Homogenizers Lyse Cells?

Posted by Deb Shechter on Oct 16, 2019 12:48:36 PM

how do homogenizers lyse cells?Cell lysis is the process by which cell membranes are broken down so that the contents within the cell can be studied and/or purified. It’s a critical part of many industrial and research enterprises, often providing the only means by which certain products can be made or used. There are several different ways to lyse cells (broadly categorized as either mechanical or non-mechanical) with each type dependent on the makeup of the cellular barrier, as well as the intended application of the cellular contents themselves. For instance, some cell lysis methods are highly destructive and, thus, not suitable in situations where the contents of the cell need to remain intact to be serviceable (such as during RNA and protein extractions). Others only work when applied to weaker cell barriers (such as animal plasma membranes vs. plant cell walls), and still others have to be combined with additional processes in order to effectively open the cell at all. The good news is that a variety of homogenizers can lyse cells under a variety of circumstances. Read on to learn more.

 

Mechanical Cell Lysis Options with Homogenizers

Mechanical cell lysis utilizes a particular force (or forces) to physically break apart a cell. It differs from non-mechanical cell lysis in that it doesn’t rely on any added chemicals or enzymes to promote cell disruption, thus making it a better option for large samples with tough cell walls (plant, fungi, bacterial and algal, etc.) where sensitivity might not be as big an issue and when unwanted additives could contaminate the lysate. Here’s how different homogenizers lyse cells:

 

1. Agitation, Stirring, Shearing and Impact

Mechanical homogenizers like blenders, mortars and pestles, bead mills, rotor-stator homogenizers and blade homogenizers use a blade, probe or beads to generate turbulent mixing that breaks apart cellular membranes. These types of homogenizers are especially useful because they can be customized in various ways (according to sample size and viscosity, processing time and agitation speed, to name but a few), making it easier to ensure that an appropriate amount of force is applied in the least disruptive way. This not only saves valuable time and money, it better safeguards cellular contents.

 

2. High-Pressure

Other types of homogenizers — high pressure homogenizers or HPHs — apply pressure to lyse cells. By squeezing cell suspensions through a narrow opening, HPHs effectively disrupt cellular bonds, leaving the intracellular contents exposed.

 

3. Ultrasonic Sound Waves 

Finally, some homogenizers make use of high frequency sound waves to create microbubbles within a cell suspension that expand, coalesce and then burst, causing cells to break apart. These types of homogenizers are known as ultrasonic homogenizers and are especially useful because the frequency and strength of the waves can be adjusted for both small and large samples, as well as a range of cell types. In addition, the amount of ultrasonic force can be amplified (or not) depending on the type of cellular barrier (i.e., more force can be applied when the sample is a plant cell and less when it is an animal one).

 

Ready to Learn More?

You need the right equipment to lyse cells. Different homogenizing methods offer different advantages and disadvantages. The key is matching the best process to your application and your available resources. We believe our homogenizers here at BEE International provide you with the most optimal solution because our patented Emulsifying Cell (EC) system provides you with options that a singular type of homogenizing system would not. With our machines you can combine and customize homogenizing forces so that your cell lysis processes are effective and profitable. Contact us to learn more.

You might also wish to download our free eBook, “7 Key Factors to Consider When Choosing A Cell Lysis Method,” for additional information.

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What’s the Difference Between Solutions, Suspensions and Colloids?

Posted by Tal Shechter on Sep 26, 2019 9:00:00 AM

Thoughtful businessman looking at three arrows drawn on chalkboard-474958-editedMany industries use homogenizers as part of their manufacturing processes. Companies (cosmetic, food, chemical and pharmaceutical, to name but a few) need homogenizers to mix together the elements of their products. Effective mixtures not only have a better viscosity, consistency, texture, flavor and/or appearance (depending on the end product’s use), they create a stability within the product that extends shelf life, as well as increases bioavailability and efficacy (when applicable). This ultimately saves businesses of all types both time and money. In order to understand how homogenizers can facilitate all these advantages, however, it’s first necessary to learn about “mixtures.” Contrary to what might seem apparent, the word “mixture” can mean a lot of different things. Read on for a simple explanation of the difference between solutions, suspensions and colloids — all of which can be accurately classified as mixtures!

 

Mixtures Are Either Homogeneous or Heterogenous      

Chemically, all matter is either a pure substance (an element or compound) or a mixture of two or more elements and/or compounds. Furthermore, mixtures can either be homogeneous or heterogenous. A homogeneous mixture is uniform in its composition, meaning that no matter how you divide it, it will always display the same properties. For example, air is homogeneous mixture of several separate gases (N2, O2, H2O, and CO2); any volume of air will always contain the same ratios of its component gases.

All homogeneous mixtures can also be called solutions, composed of the solvent (the component of the substance that exists in the greatest amount) and one or more solutes (those components that exist in smaller volumes). In essence, solutes are “dissolved” in the solvent, making it impossible to identify either. And while water is the most evident solvent, other gases, liquids and even solids can be solvents, too.

A heterogenous mixture, on the other hand, is not uniform in composition; it’s a combination of two or more substances, like sand. Sand, when viewed under a microscope, will display an uneven distribution of particles, meaning no one handful will contain the same ratio of individual parts.

 

Heterogeneous Mixtures Can Be Further Separated Into…

All homogeneous mixtures are solutions, but heterogenous mixtures can be split into two separate categories: suspensions and colloids.

Suspensions are heterogenous mixtures where the individual components of the substance can be physically observed (when left to settle). Think about how many oil-based salad dressings separate into two layers in a bottle. Or how a bit of dirt in a glass of water eventually falls in a layer of silt at the bottom. These are all examples of suspensions.

Colloids are also heterogenous mixtures of particles, but the particles in colloids are significantly smaller than those found in suspensions — only 1 to 1,000 nanometers in diameter. Although these particles are very tiny, they remain larger than those found in homogeneous solutions and generate a tell-tell opaque appearance when light is applied to them. Indeed, colloids are often differentiated from solutions via the Tyndall Effect, the scattering of light that occurs when a light beam encounters the particles within a heterogenous mixture. If a beam cannot pass through a substance but rather bounces off it, you know that there are individual particles suspended in that substance reflecting the light, thus making it either a colloid or a suspension. Some examples of colloids include milk, mayonnaise and butter.

 

BEE International: The Clear Choice for High-Pressure Homogenizers

The effective mixing of components determines the value of many different types of products. Homogenizers, especially quality high pressure homogenizers (HPHs), create stable solutions, suspensions and colloids that can be used for a variety of purposes. If you would like to learn more about homogenizers and the specific benefits of a BEE International high pressure homogenizer, please contact us today!

You are also welcome to download our free eBook, “How to Achieve Efficient & Consistent Particle Size Reduction,” for additional insight on the benefits of consistent particle size reduction.

 

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