Mechanical homogenization is oftentimes preferable to other methods in its ability to impart physical change without altering the chemical properties of the sample. Cell lysis, an oft-visited homogenizer application, exemplifies this concept; while chemical disruption methods risk altering the intracellular molecules of interest, mechanical disruption methods simply cause a physical break in the membrane and/or wall while leaving subcellular fractions injury-free. Dounce homogenizers and high pressure homogenizers (HPH) can both be used to mechanically lyse cells, but which is better, particularly for your intended application?
The concept of homogenization was brought into existence in the 1800’s, when scientists began altering milk’s properties to improve its taste and physical appearance. The first homogenizer was patented in 1899 by Auguste Gaulin, and since then, this simple machine has evolved significantly. (1) The Dounce homogenizer and the HPH are great examples of this model because of their similar purpose and vast procedural difference. The Dounce homogenizer has a quite simple setup, in that it is comprised of a glass mortar and pestle with a miniscule clearance between the two, which allows for a stress-induced lysis of cells and tissues. In contrast, HPH forces a sample through a narrow tube while imparting multiple mechanical forces to rupture the cells. Although each is an effective method of homogenization, they represent a distinct evolutionary lineage from the first homogenizer.
Aside from their basic mechanisms of action, Dounce homogenizers and HPH cater to a very different crowd. Firstly, the number of steps should be taken into consideration; an ideal technique has one single step and HPH generally meets this format. HPH simply requires setting of the dials for customization and entry of the sample into the machine. While the sample may require pre- or post-homogenization treatment, the homogenization process itself has that sweet spot of easy setup and a machine completing the work. On the opposing end, Dounce homogenization is one of multiple manual steps that are required to effectively lyse a cell. For example, a scientist would first cut tissue to isolate subcellular fractions, coarsely grind the sample, and then use a Dounce homogenizer for final rupture. (2) Moreover, Dounce homogenizers can process only small samples at a single time and require significant user participation with the mortar and pestle. HPH can process samples on both a small and large scale, making it more valuable to scientists.
BEE International: High Pressure Homogenizers That Effectively Disrupt Cells
Researchers who require cell lysates, DNA, RNA, or protein extract should have access to a high pressure homogenizer. On determining which homogenizer will be the best fit, the search can begin with BEE International Technology. We are globally recognized among laboratory managers and researchers for our high quality products and excellent customer support. Cell lysis is just one of a variety of applications for our homogenizers; nano/micro emulsions, lipids, suspensions, and dispersions are also easily achievable. Additionally, the homogenizer processes can be controlled to suit any given product, which will allow for customization to the cell type. And finally, the equipment is easy to use, produces higher yield in less time, and achieves results that are reproducible and scalable.
Learn more about how to effectively lyse your cell sample by contacting us today. Also, if you are looking for more information on cell lysis methods and how to choose the right one for you, download our FREE eBook: