How does a homogenizer work?

The homogenizer is laboratory equipment that is used for the homogenization of a variety of materials, such as tissues, plants, food, soil, and many others.

Being homogenization the mixing process that seeks that the processed substance has the same properties in its entirety, it can be said that the homogenizer is the instrument created to make it possible. In biology and biochemistry, homogenizers are used for the disintegration of tissues and for the rupture of cells, with the least possible damage to the plasma membrane. The homogenizer process will depend on the samples that the researcher is going to mix and how he will use it.

Biomolecular extraction is an essential step for sample preparation, which is carried out in techniques such as ELISA, PAGE, Western BLOT, mass spectrometry or protein purification.

The cell breakdown process can occur by three mechanisms

  • Shear force caused by liquids.
  • Shear force caused by solids.
  • Force caused by a gaseous cavitation mechanism.
  • Chemical and biochemical methods: use of a hypotonic medium; enzymatic hydrolysis.

Types of Homogenizers

  • Hydraulically operated homogenizer: in this type of homogenizer, a hydraulic control system is used to increase the pressure.
  • Manually operated homogenizer: it has a two-stage system with manual pressure adjustment.
  • Homogenizer with pneumatic operation.
  • Large capacity homogenizer.
  • Laboratory homogenizer: such as the paddle homogenizer that works with a sterile plastic bag, into which the sample and diluent are inserted; the paddles hit the bag constantly until the sample is emulsified. There is also the blender that is very similar to a domestic blender, the Ultrasonic homogenizer that works by passing the liquid through high pressure homogenization valves constantly, thus achieving mixing. Among others.

There are two types of homogenizers widely used in different industries and they are used according to the process, product volume and desired results; so we can find batch or immersion homogenizers and recirculating homogenizers or homogenizers online. These equipment not only mix, but also emulsify, homogenize, solubilize, suspend, disperse and disintegrate solid particles, thereby reducing the size as needed in the process.

There are also utensils used as homogenizers, such as the mortar used for thousands of years to the present day. In addition there are instruments such as beaters and grinders, blade mills, high pressure ultrasonic treatment and other physical devices.

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