Selecting a Homogenizer on Amazon.com
A homogenizer is a blending device that reduces particles and disperses them throughout a substance to make it consistent and help reduce separation. Also known as a disperser, tissue grinder, or tissue homogenizer, it is commonly used for processing biological samples, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and food products. The term "homogenizer" covers instruments as simple a micro-tube with pestle for individual samples and as complex as an electronic benchtop machine for multiple samples or larger batches. A mortar and pestle can also be considered a homogenizer.
Most homogenizers are either handheld or benchtop units with variable speed motors to adjust the blending speed. Handheld units have a probe for mixing, and are typically used for samples ranging in size from a few hundredths of a millimeter to 1L. They often include a stand for hands-free operation. Some models have interchangeable probes, sometimes called generators, for different applications; for example, a saw-tooth probe can cut through coarse samples. Probes are usually made of stainless steel for corrosion resistance, and may be autoclavable to help prevent cross-contamination. Benchtop homogenizers often have a keypad with a digital display to set and monitor the motor speed, processing time, and other parameters. Some models allow speed and run time settings for multiple cycles to be defined and stored in the onboard memory, and may have an output for connecting to a computer for remote operation or data transfer. They vary as to the type and size of sample container they accommodate, and may have interchangeable racks to suit specific types of containers.
Certain homogenizers are cell disruptors that can release biological molecules within cells, a process known as lysis. A ball- or bead-type cell disruptor is an electric-powered agitator in which beads of glass, zirconia, or steel are placed into tubes or vials along with the sample. An ultrasonic homogenizer, or cell disrupter, uses high-frequency sound waves to disrupt cells, and is generally used in laboratories to break down bacteria and fungi. Homogenizer manufacturers include Kinematica, maker of the Polytron (PT) series.