Ultrasonic homogenizers, or sonicators, are used in cell lysis and particle size reduction applications. This equipment uses pulsed, high frequency sound waves to disrupt particles through a phenomenon called cavitation. Cavitation occurs when a rapid pressure change causes “liquid-free zones” or cavities in a liquid. As these cavities collapse, shock waves are generated throughout the liquid, which causes the cells or large particles to rupture.
Uses and Shortcomings of Ultrasonic Homogenizers
Ultrasonic homogenizers are commonly used for processing small samples that are in suspension and don’t require any pre-grinding or cutting. They can be used for cell lysis, emulsion preparation, for mixing and dissolving purposes, and to accelerate chemical reactions.
Limitations of ultrasonic homogenizers include the generation of heat, which may be detrimental to temperature-sensitive samples. Sonicators can also shear DNA, which may or may not be desirable, depending on your application.
Ultrasonic homogenizers make a very loud, “hissing” noise and the appropriate personal protective equipment must be worn by operators and lab technicians.
Ultrasonic homogenizers do not lyse all cells equally. The cell walls of plant cells are far more resistant to sonication than cell membranes. Lastly, there is a possibility of cross contamination, as the sonicator probe comes into direct contact with the samples.
DeBEE High Pressure Homogenizers: Ideal Fluid Processing for Small and Large Volumes
Our High Pressure Homogenizers are the most efficient fluid processing equipment for particle size reduction and cell lysis. Pion's BEE brand proprietary homogenizing cell technology drives the fluid at ultra high pressure through a small nozzle, causing cavitation. The product becomes a high velocity jet stream and flows through an absorption cell. This absorption cell contains alternating small and large orifices that create turbulence and cause fluid-on-fluid impact and shear. Process intensity is adjustable from 2,000 - 45,000 psi / 150 - 3100 bar.
DeBEE high pressure homogenizers make use of cavitation, but they also use the forces of shear and impact. Particle disruption is gentle but effective, allowing for better results in fewer passes. Best of all, our results are consistently scalable up to manufacturing volumes.