Homogenization 101: Key Terms for High Pressure Homogenization

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Deb Shechter
Feb 24, 2016
min read
Homogenization 101: Key Terms for High Pressure Homogenization

Homogenization is a mixing process used by researchers around the world. Yet because of its complexity in equipment structure and various methods, people who are new to the process may have a difficult time grasping its full capability. Here we provide the new user with ‘Homogenization 101’, which breaks down terms related to high pressure homogenization. We hope that the below terms provide guidance as you work to familiarize yourself with this incredibly relevant and useful process.

  1. Homogenization - Refers to the process of preparing a uniform solution by suspending one substance (solid or liquid) in a diluent. A successful technique should evenly and consistently distribute particles, even among those that are immiscible, to create a homogenous mixture. Two major types of homogenization exist:

  2. Mechanical homogenization - Mechanical homogenization takes advantage of the properties of pressure and force to homogenize samples of all sizes. Because of its ability to reach high pressure, large samples and cells with tough exterior walls are well-matched to this method. High pressure homogenization is a preferred method of mechanical homogenization because of the powerful results it can achieve.

  3. Ultrasonic homogenization - Also known as sonication, this method works by imparting sound waves on a sample, which easily and quickly homogenizes it. Best suited to individual cells, specifically soft tissue such as brain, blood, and liver, ultrasonic homogenization is not powerful enough to disrupt tough cell walls. Small volume samples are most appropriate in this case. (1)

  4. Particle size reduction - This term encompasses one of the central goals of homogenization, which is to decrease the size of particles in a prepared sample. High pressure homogenization is optimal for particle size reduction, as a high quality machine can achieve particles at or below 100 nm. Products from many industries can benefit from smaller particle sizes; for example, food comprised of smaller particles may help improve weight status and pharmaceutical drugs comprised of small particles have increased bioavailability.

  5. Mechanical forces - While utilizing impressively high operating pressures, high pressure homogenization also incorporates mechanical forces that enhance the effectiveness of this method. Such forces commonly include turbulence, cavitation, impact, and shear.

Pion: The Homogenizer Advantage

As you work to determine which high-pressure homogenizer brand and model will be best suited for your laboratory, begin your search with Pion's Technology. We are globally recognized among laboratory managers and researchers for our high quality products and excellent customer support. Cell lysis and particle size reduction are two of a variety of applications for Pion's BEE brand homogenizers; nano/micro emulsions, lipids, suspensions, and dispersions are also easily achievable.

Importantly, Pion's BEE brand homogenizers can achieve consistent particle sizes at or below 100 nm, a key benefit for products that require smaller droplet sizes. 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.

Learn more about how Pion homogenizers can improve your experimentation by visiting our laboratory high pressure homogenizers or to see how homogenizers can improve your cell lysis application.

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