Plant and Animal Cell Homogenization: Similarities and Differences

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David Shechter
Mar 6, 2017
min read
Plant and Animal Cell Homogenization: Similarities and Differences

Homogenization is defined as the reduction of particle size of any given molecule. It is a process that is often used in the pharmaceutical, biotech, cosmetic, and pharmaceutical industries. However, before embarking upon the journey to select the right homogenizer for the job, it is important to first have some vital knowledge under your belt. In the world of homogenization within the biotech industry, it is possible to homogenize both plant and animal cells. However, what are the differences between homogenizing these cells? Are there any similarities? And most importantly, how can a homogenizer help with this task? We are here to answer all of your burning questions; continue reading to learn more about plant and animal cell homogenization.

Animal Cell Homogenization

Animal cells contain a fragile membrane which separates intracellular components from the outside – or extracellular – environment. Because of the fragility of these cells, a gentle force alone – usually liquid shear – is enough to rupture these cells while at the same time preserving the delicate intracellular components, such as proteins or molecules, that are to be studied. In addition to traditional homogenizing equipment, animal cells can also be ruptured through other means: a Potter-Elvehjem homogenizer, a glass/Teflon homogenizer, or even a Dounce hand homogenizer.

Plant Cell Homogenization

Plant cells, on the other hand, often have tough, rigid cell walls that take a lot more force and effort to be broken. Typically, heavy mechanical forces, such as shear, cavitation, and pressure, are used to rupture these hearty cells. Aside from mechanical disruption, chemical disruption can also be effective in rupturing the cell walls to enable the study of what is inside. Although plant cells are more durable than animal cells, it is still important to make efforts to reduce the damage that can be done to cell organelles and other important artifacts.

Pion's BEE Brand: Homogenizers for Every Purpose

Whether your goal is to homogenize rigid plant cells or more delicate animal cells, Pion has the homogenizers that can help with the task at hand. Our homogenizers use multiple forces, including shear, cavitation, and pressure to break apart a variety of cells.  Other benefits of our homogenizers include:

  • Electronic synchronization, which allows for production of constant pressure
  • Numerous cylinder sizes available to match specific pressure
  • Unique Clean in Place (CIP) position, which enables flow through the high pressure cylinder for faster and more thorough cleaning

To learn more about the homogenization equipment that we have to offer, as well as how we can help with the process of homogenizing plant and animal cells, please contact us today.

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