In the world of homogenizers, it’s a lot like Shakespeare’s Juliet said: “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” Depending on where you are and who you are, you might call a homogenizer a sonicator, a lysor, a bead mill, a high shear mixer, a disperser or a tissue tearor. You might even call a standard blender or whisk a homogenizer. Sometimes, people refer to all homogenizers by the brand name Polytron® (much like many call all tissues “Kleenex®”), and sometimes they specify the kind of homogenizer according to the type of force it supplies, like a mechanical, high-pressure or ultrasonic homogenizer. In the end, however, all these names refer to the same basic piece of equipment that is used by laboratories and in industrial processes to disrupt and blend the components of a product.
But just because there are multiple ways to say “homogenizer,” it doesn’t mean each homogenizing application isn’t specific in some way. Indeed, the preferred way of referencing a homogenizer usually points to how it will be used, making it especially important for you to understand the differences in homogenizing applications.
For instance, in industry talk, a Polytron® homogenizer indicates a specific brand of immersion dispersers, which uses a rotating blade to dissolve solid particles in a liquid substance. Thus, “polytron homogenizer” is often used to reference a homogenizer being used with plant and animal matter in a lab setting. Similarly, “cell lysors” and “tissue tearors” are terms most likely used in biotech applications where it’s important that users maintain the cellular integrity of the products they’re manufacturing and/or studying.
The term “high shear mixer,” on the other hand, is more often used when discussing homogenizing processes for the food /beverage and chemical industries, where the mixing part of the homogenizing process is seen as being more emphasized than the disruption part (whether it’s true or not). In much the same way, you might talk about “bead mills” to indicate homogenizers used in industrial settings since they can accommodate the grinding of solid samples without a liquid.
Want to Learn More?
Choosing the right term to indicate each type of homogenizer is often confusing: Do you need a disperser? Do you call it a polytron homogenizer? And what about bead mills and all the other options? Add in the multiple ways in which each homogenizer can be applied, and you can quite easily become overwhelmed with possibilities! If you need assistance determining the right equipment for your needs, contact our team at Pion. We offer a range of laboratory, pilot and industrial homogenizers that can effectively provide:
- High Pressure Pasteurization
- Particle size reduction
- Micro/nano emulsions
- Cell disruption
Our proprietary and patented Cell Emulsifying System guarantees a customizable combination of homogenizing forces for optimal results and reduced costs. In addition, we offer stellar service, warranty support and preventative maintenance programs, benefits that enable you to maximize your time and resources and enhance the lives of the people you serve.