7 Cell Lysis Method Factors to Consider

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Deb Shechter
Jul 24, 2015
min read
7 Cell Lysis Method Factors to Consider

There are several factors that life science researchers must keep in mind when choosing the optimal cell lysis method. Below, we highlight 7 key considerations:

1. Force Required 

In terms of strength, not all cell walls are created equal. Some, such as spores, are tougher and therefore require more force to disrupt, while others such as E. Coli are softer and require less force. Force, is related to intensity applied to cells whether it is a stronger concentration of chemical or an increase in mechanical forces exerted on the cell walls.

The ideal method provides the minimum force required to produce the highest yield of lysed cells in the least amount of time. In the laboratory, researchers need the ability to easily experiment and quickly find the ideal force for the cell lysis process.   

2. Volume & Sample Size

Researchers may work with small samples due to lack of product supply, or expensive product cost. But a method that only allows for small samples will prove time consuming when larger batches are required. The ideal laboratory method will allow the scientist to lyse small and medium batches of cells.

3. Scalability

While working with small samples is useful in the lab, time and money can be saved by using a scalable the cell lysis method.  Hopefully, the project at hand will generate enough interest to require larger batches, pilot testing and eventually commercialization. The ideal method will allow for a variety of sample sizes and must be scalable so that the results achieved in the laboratory can be duplicated in pilot and manufacturing.

4. Sample Variety

When purchasing equipment, your dollar will always go further with a versatile selection.  The ideal method can be used for a wide variety of cells as well as suspensions, emulsions, dispersions, liposomes, etc. 

It is also necessary to adjust to the number of different samples that will be disrupted concurrently. Failure to adjust the equipment and technology can result in diminished processing speed. Failure to clean equipment can also lead to low yield.  

5. Efficiency

Efficiency considerations are important to ensure the feasibility of scalability and to produce a high yield of the cellular material sought with the greatest ease. The ideal method will produce the highest percentage of lysed cells in the shortest amount of time. In the laboratory the amount of time and cost to lyse a batch of cells may not be critical. But in manufacturing it may make the difference between whether or not a product will be profitable.  Some cell lysis methods have an inherent trade off  between disruption efficiency and ensuring that sub-cellular components remain intact. This may be related to the type of cell being disrupted.

6. Product Stability

Once cell lysis has occurred, researchers must be prepared to protect the extracted proteins so that they can be isolated, examined, studied and experimented upon. The ideal method will maintain product stability to avoid denaturing of cells. Methods that cannot control factors such as normal biological processes, temperature change and oxidation will produce diminished yields.

7. Meeting Sanitary Standards

The Pharmaceutical and Biotech industries must comply with the highest Sanitary Standards  ...applications must conform to the stringent FDA and cGMP sanitary requirements. From welded components to the completed system care must be given to regulations are met and the safest, most effective pharmaceuticals and biotech products are produced. The ideal system must be easy to clean and designed for sanitary applications.

Pion's Laboratory High Pressure Homogenizers

Pion's Laboratory High Pressure Homogenizers are the preferred choice among research laboratory managers worldwide, because they are designed to easily support the widest range of experimentation. Also since cell lysis is one of the most common uses for this equipment, the critical factors described in this article have all been addressed.  

Pion systems offer the widest range of force (operating pressure) from 5 kpsi to 45 kpsi compared to other systems stop at 18, 23 or 30 kpsi. Increasing or decreasing force is as easy as turning a dial.

Pion technology is an in-line mixing process so one laboratory system can be used for sample sizes ranging from 20 ml to 25 liters per hour.

Not only do Pion laboratory systems produce a high yield of lysed cells for all cell types, but the ability to experiment with many options also produces the ideal process for a given product.

Pion high pressure homogenizing technology does generate heat which can cause damage to the precious cellular material. However our cell lysis systems include custom designed heat exchangers to maintain product temperature and avoid denaturing of cell materials.

They are also easy to clean and maintain, which lowers the risk of cross-contamination. Just as importantly, the technology used in our equipment is designed to deliver high yield with fewer passes, which is both time and cost efficient, and allows researchers to scale up to conduct clinical trials.

Pion systems are designed for sanitary applications and sanitary options are available to meet industry requirements. Pion systems offer Clean in Place (CIP) and are suitable for Clean Room environments.

Learn more about our laboratory high pressure homogenizers here.

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