How Homogenizers Efficiently Lyse E. coli Cells

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Tal Shechter
Jun 8, 2016
min read
How Homogenizers Efficiently Lyse E. coli Cells

From synthetic fuel and medicine to experimentation for DNA and evolution education, use as a cancer treatment tool and construction of bio-computers, Escherichia coli (E. coli) is critical to the success of many industries. (1) Its cells contain proteins with widespread life science applications, as well as DNA with an impressive number of genes considering its small size. Access to these precious materials requires cell lysis and preparation of the lysate, of which a variety of methods are available. Most commonly used is homogenization, which offers numerous benefits over other methods. Read on to learn about how homogenizers can efficiently lyse E. coli cells.

So how does it work its mixing magic? When a liquid E. coli suspension is inserted into a homogenizer, it is pushed through a narrow tube at high pressure. The sudden release of pressure that follows provides mechanical force, specifically turbulence and shear, which rupture the cells. Interestingly, the amount of cell breakage achieved is in direct proportion to operating pressure; this fact emphasizes the importance of using a machine that can achieve comparatively high operating pressures. The desired product, whether protein, gene, or other intracellular molecule, will dictate specifically what is extracted and how it is prepared after homogenization concludes.

As intriguing as homogenization may be sounding at this point, it is prudent to consider other mixing options, of which there are many. For example, freeze-thawing, centrifugation, chemical disruption, and sonication are all viable options. Yet compared with each of these, homogenization confers significant benefits like higher disruption rates, increased efficiency in terms of time and outcome, and enhanced ability to scale. Additionally, homogenization is a good fit for both small and large sample sizes, and its use of force instead of temperature change (like heat or freeze-thawing) preserves intracellular structures for extraction.

Pion: Homogenizers for Effective Cell Disruption

As your laboratory prepares to disrupt E. coli cells for protein extraction, you will begin looking at homogenizers that best suit the required needs. Pion's BEE brand is trusted by pharmaceutical researchers and lab managers around the world. We deliver an array of key benefits, such as production of cell lysates, nano/micro emulsions and dispersions and lipids and suspensions. Our homogenizer processes can be controlled to better suit your product; for example, pressure can be adjusted to be gentler or harsher and the results can be scaled to manufacturing. Finally, our equipment is easy to use, produces higher yield in less time, and results are reproducible and scalable.

Learn more about how Pion can assist you in cell disruption by contacting us today.

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