There 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:
Particle Size Reduction/Sub-Micron Homogenization
Soft Tissue Homogenization
Cell Disruption and/or Isolation
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.