Particle size reduction is key to the synthesis of stable and high quality products like emulsions, suspensions, and dispersions, all of which are used in a variety of industries. From cosmetics to pharmaceuticals, and chemicals to biotechnology, the process of reducing particle size can have a significant impact on on product effectiveness and consumer appeal.
Colloid mills and homogenizers are machines that can process particle reduction formulations; yet each may be preferential for specific applications. Here we present some critical differences between colloid mills and homogenizers.
Mechanism of Action
Colloid mills fall under the category of rotor-stator mixers. In this model, a quickly rotating rotor draws the sample up; it is then pushed in a centrifuge-like fashion through a stator that contains many small slots. The combination of high rpm from the rotor and exit through tiny slots allows the sample to be mechanically sheared into very small particles. The machine’s high shear rates allow for particle sizes of 1 micron or less. (1) In contrast, homogenization forces the sample through a narrow space while imparting force (e.g. turbulence and cavitation) high pressure to create a consistent and uniform sample. Because its powerful mechanism of action, a high quality homogenizer can achieve impressively small particle size in only 1-2 passes.
Ideal Sample Composition
Colloid mills are best suited for samples comprised of solids immersed in a liquid suspension or a liquid suspended in another liquid. With either of these combinations, the mill can enhance the sample’s stability and/or reduce the size of suspended particles. Homogenizers, as well, can process these liquid/solid combinations. Unlike colloid mills, however, homogenizers are also ideal for cell lysis; powerful pressure makes them ideal for organisms with tough cell walls, like bacteria, yeast, and fungi.
Pion: Trustworthy High-Pressure Homogenizers
The product you select for your laboratory will ultimately depend on its downstream applications and the cell types being used. Either way, you will be well-served to select a homogenizer that is flexible enough to meet the various needs of a laboratory. There are plenty of companies on the market to select equipment from; however, the product can be of higher quality and more even consistency when run through top-shelf equipment, most frequently in the form of a homogenizer.
Pion's BEE brand technologies is trusted by researchers around the world for both their laboratory homogenizers and their associated customer support. Particle size reduction is just one of a variety of applications for Pion homogenizers; nano/micro emulsions, lipids, suspensions, cell lysis and dispersions are also easily achievable. Additionally, the homogenizer processes can be controlled to suit your product, which will allow you to customize to your cell type. And finally, the equipment is easy to use, produces higher yield in less time, and achieves results that are reproducible and scalable.