Cell Disruption: Grinding vs. High Pressure Homogenization

Pion Favicon
Deb Shechter
Apr 7, 2016
min read
Cell Disruption: Grinding vs. High Pressure Homogenization

Cell lysis, a technique frequently used in the research lab, is critical to the extraction of valuable intracellular contents like DNA, RNA, and proteins. Cell lysis, or disruption, methods can be classified as either mechanical or chemical. While chemical methods like detergents are easy to implement, they can destroy some intracellular proteins and other molecules of interest. In contrast, mechanical methods are ideal for preparation of most samples. Here is a comparison of two common mechanical methods, grinding and high pressure homogenization, aimed to help potential users determine which will be the best fit for them.


This method disrupts cells through the use of friction when the sample is placed between two hard surfaces; the sliding action of one or both surfaces then causes a mechanical disruption. Although it may be employed for frozen, wet, or dry samples, grinding is most effective with solid samples. For example, this method is highly recommended for plant tissue frozen in liquid nitrogen. (1) The dual forces of pressure and shearing force cause a ripping and tearing that effectively disrupts tough cell walls. While a mortar and pestle is the best-known grinding tool, other options such as glass homogenizers and grain mills also exist. (2)

High Pressure Homogenization

High pressure homogenization uses force (such as turbulence and cavitation) alongside high pressure to create a consistent and uniform sample. Because of its powerful pressure, high pressure homogenization is well-matched with organisms such as bacteria, yeast, and fungus, whose tough cell walls need to be lysed. Some high-quality homogenizers are customizable and can therefore break the cell wall without damaging the intracellular components, while others are better suited for less sensitive samples.

Pion: Homogenizers That Effectively Disrupt Cells

Researchers who require cell lysates, DNA, RNA, or protein extract should have access to a laboratory homogenizer. On determining which homogenizer will be the best fit, the search can begin with BEE International Technology. They are globally recognized among laboratory managers and researchers for their high quality products and excellent customer support. Cell lysis is just one of a variety of applications for Pion's BEE brand 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 requesting a demo of our high pressure homogenizers.

Prev Blog
Next Blog