Dounce Homogenizer vs. High Pressure Homogenizer

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David Shechter
Mar 15, 2017
min read
Dounce Homogenizer vs. High Pressure Homogenizer

In the growing field of biotechology, homogenization – also known as micronization or more simply, particle size reduction – is an important process step in the study of tissues, cells, and other living organisms. However, although homogenization seems like a relatively simple process, it is one wrought with many options, each having their own sets of pros and cons. In this article, we will discuss the differences between two common pieces of equipment used to break down particles in the field of biotechnology – the dounce homogenizer, and the high pressure homogenizer. What are the differences and similarities? What are the pros and cons of each type of equipment? And what does Pion have to offer in the way of this homogenization equipment? Continue reading to learn the answers to these questions and much more.

Dounce Homogenizers

The Dounce Homogenizer was developed in 1954 by Alexander Dounce, an American biochemistry professor. During his life, he studied the isolation and purification of cellular organelles and enzymes, as well as the chemical basis of protein synthesis. His work on the isolation of organelles, particularly nuclei and mitochondria, led to his development of the Dounce Homogenizer. This homogenizer consists of a glass mortar and pestle that is used to manually grind tissues and cells through the use of shear. This method is strong enough to lyse the cells while leaving more delicate organelles intact. Dounce homogenizers typically use two different pestles, each having a different width. A pestle with a larger width fits more tightly within the shaft of the dounce for maximum friction and cell disruption, while the other smaller pestle is better suited for creating a homogenous sample. While the Dounce homogenizer is easy to clean and sterilize (thanks to its glass construction),  its manual process does not lend itself well for the homogenization of larger amounts of samples.

High Pressure Homogenizers

High pressure homogenizers, similar to dounce homogenizers, also utilize the force of shear. However, these homogenizers use other forces in addition to shear: turbulence, impact, and pressure. High pressure homogenizers, as the name suggest, utilize pressure to force cells through a small orifice, which then shears and lyses the cells in question. This act happens quickly and uniformly, which allows much larger quantities of material to be homogenized at once. High pressure homogenizers, much like Dounce homogenizers, also offer the benefit of easy cleaning and sterilization.

Pion's BEE Brand: Homogenizers for Any Job

At Pion, we offer a number of high pressure homogenizers to tackle virtually any task in a laboratory, pilot plant, or industrial setting. Please contact us today to learn more about our offerings as well as more information on how we can assist you with your next homogenization project.  

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