Intensive Mixing Basics: The High Pressure Homogenization Process

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Deb Shechter
Mar 14, 2016
min read
Intensive Mixing Basics: The High Pressure Homogenization Process

Homogenizers are unique machines in that they are easy to use, yet they offer numerous options that are not so intuitive. Acquiring a homogenizer for your lab is no small investment, so it is important to be aware of its many functionalities, especially as you work to optimize the process for specific samples. Here we break down the basics of high pressure homogenization- specific materials, components of the process, and how to go about data analysis.

Materials & Equipment

Starting with the given, a high pressure homogenizer will be required! Most homogenizer manufacturers also offer accessories that can enhance optimization or save time for the scientist. For example, generator probes help prevent cross-contamination and cooling trays can be filled with ice to cool tubes after homogenization. Additionally, samples need to be appropriately prepared prior to entering a homogenizer; this often times involves mixing with a diluting buffer; the optimal buffer will depend on the product’s chemical makeup and stability.

The Process

Although specific methods may change based on the homogenizer and application, most samples will require some form of pre-homogenization treatment and post-homogenization cooling. Many homogenizers, such as the Pion's BEE brand laboratory homogenizer, can be adjusted to optimize results, particularly across cell types and processes. For example, cavitation, shear, and impact are forces that are critical to successful cell rupture. Pion's homogenizers are structured so that the researcher can adjust these forces to be more gentle or harsh to produce the desired effect. In this way, the optimum results for high yield cell rupture are achieved for the widest variety of cells.

Data Analysis

For an accurate reading, data analysis should take place as close to conclusion of homogenization as possible. For qualitative assessment, samples can typically be viewed through a bright-field or phase-contrast microscope. In particular, phase-contrast microscopes can help users acquire information on particle size, which is a factor of key significance in regards to homogenization. Homogenates can additionally be sedimented to determine protein concentration. Quantitative assessment may also be required, and can be achieved via multiple processes; in particular, cumulative sedimentation analysis (CSA) is reliable and calls for materials that are usually found around the laboratory.

High Pressure Homogenizer Recommendation

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 BEE brand 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 our homogenizers; nano/micro emulsions, lipids, suspensions, and dispersions are also easily achievable. 

Importantly, Pion's 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's BEE brand homogenizers can improve your experimentation by visiting our homogenizers page. 

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