28 May

Cell Disruption

Bead mills are homogenizers for disrupting microorganisms and, in some cases, tissues.  Tiny  Zirconium or Silica beads are place in the sample tube and a pulsing vortex mixer  or mixer mill is used to shake the sample allowing the rapidly moving beads to act as projectiles in the sample.    The bacteria, yeast, mold, or tissue is placed in a sample tube along with the grinding beads. The tubes are oscillated rapidly in a vortex mixer; this efficiently disrupts the cells. Pulsing vortex mixers are specifically designed for use in bead beating as the pulsing action helps to prevent overheating of the sample during homogenization. Bead beating using a pulsing vortex mixer is a reasonably priced solution for labs which have moderate sample throughput needs.  In the past bead beating has been limited by low sample throughput.  Some manufacturers have developed bead beaters which can handle racks of tubes or microwell plates to increase sample throughput.

Robin Prymula