7. FAQ's and Knowledgebase / Homogenisers

Which homogeniser should I choose?

With a wide range of homogenisers available, from ultrasonic units, to mechanical models with rotor stator blades, through to bead ruptors, how do you select the model suitable for your samples?

Homogenisers group
Ultrasonic? Rotor Stator? Bead mill? Which homogeniser is best?

There is no one type which is “best” – it all depends on what your samples are and what sort of result you want to achieve.

Use the questions below to help you narrow down the options and choose the homogenizer which best suits your work.

Does the standard method or SOP define the type?

If you’re working to an established SOP or standardised method, or if you’re replicating a previously reported method, the same homogeniser that this recommends should be used to achieve comparable results.


What sample volumes are you working with?

For larger samples of over 50ml a more powerful unit should be chosen, such as the Omni Mixer, Macro or GLH.

For samples under 50ml a handheld rotor stator unit (like the Tissue Master or TH), a bead ruptor like the Bead Ruptor 4 or an ultrasonic homogenizer like the Omni Ruptor 400 can be chosen.


What is the sample tissue?

Dry samples without any liquid are harder to process, but some (such as hair) can be homogenised in a bead ruptor.

Rotor Stator or Ultrasonic type homogenisers must have liquids present – i.e. have the sample in a buffer or solution.

For hard samples such as bone, cartilage or skin a bead ruptor is the best option.

For medium samples (liver, kidney or foodstuffs) and soft samples (brain, stool) it is possible to choose a bead ruptor, rotor stator or ultrasonic unit.

homogeniser with sample
Both the sample and the buffer or solvent need to be considered when choosing a method

What is the sample liquid?

You also need to consider the chemical compatibility of the buffer or solvent – bead ruptor units use polypropylene tubes, while some tips may be polycarbonate.

If you’re working with organic solvents a stainless steel rotor stator probe should be selected.

When working with volatile solvents, the work should be done inside a fume hood.


What end result is required?

To achieve a result with particles of  20 microns or larger a blade assembly should be chosen.

To get down to 1-5 microns a rotor-stator homogeniser or bead ruptor should be selected.


Is cross contamination a concern?

Bead ruptors and disposable homogeniser tips offer 0% chance of cross contamination.

Stainless steel probes can be taken apart for cleaning, but then re-used – hence there is a risk of cross contamination dependent on the cleaning.

BR4 with 4x 2ml tubes
A separate tube and beads for each sample means bead ruptors have no chance of introducing cross contamination

For more advice on choosing a homogeniser that’s right for your application, just contact us;