Cell homogenization, also known as cell micronization or cell fractionation, is the action of reducing the particle size of molecules to facilitate even distribution and emulsification of liquids, creams, or other mediums. This process is extremely common, and is used in a number of growing industries: chemical, pharmaceutical, biotech, cosmetic, and food.
In the world of cell homogenization, there are several techniques that are commonly used to achieve this task. All of the methods involve encouraging the cells to lyse, or break apart. Cell homogenization can be achieved through various methods, including mechanical disruption, liquid homogenization, sonication, or manual grinding. Continue reading for a brief overview of each method of cell homogenization.
Mechanical disruption involves the use of rotating blades. These blades work to grind and disperse cells, and are most effective at homogenizing tissues such as liver. Rotor-stator homogenizers are one of the best homogenizing tools used in mechanical disruption, and can homogenize samples in the volumes from 0.01 milliliters to up to 20 liters, depending on the type of motor that is used. Sample loss is typically minimal, and small amounts of samples and tissues can easily be homogenized using this method.
Liquid homogenization is the most widely used cell disruption technique, especially with small volumes and cultured cells. In this method, cells are lysed by the action of being forced through a small space, which acts to shear the cell membranes. There are several types of liquid homogenizers on the market, including Potter-Elvehjem homogenizers, french presses, and the dounce homogenizer.
Sonication is a type of physical disruption used to lyse cells. This method uses high frequency sound waves to lyse cells, bacteria, and other types of tissue. The sound waves are delivered via a probe that is immersed in the liquid cell suspension. This method, while common, is often time consuming and is best suited for volumes of less than 100 mL.
Manual grinding, while one of the most time consuming methods of cell homogenization, is also the most common. In this method, a mortar and pestle is used to manually grind cells. While not suitable for extremely large volumes, this method is the most effective at breaking apart plant tissue cells.
BEE International offers a wide variety of high pressure homogenizers to meet the needs of virtually any industry. Our technology is well suited for nano emulsions, cell lysis, uniform particle reduction, and other related applications.
Contact us today to learn more about how our line of homogenizers can help with your company’s needs. For more information on cell lysis methods and how to choose the right one, download our FREE eBook: