No mater what mechanical device is used to homogenize or lyse tissue (bead-mill, tissue grinder, rotor-stator device, ultrasonicator, high pressure press, etc) tissue will process faster if it is first reduced to very small pieces (<1 mg pieces).
If the tissue is fresh, size reduction can be done by repetitive chopping with a scalpel or single-edge razor blade. Another way to pulverize tissue is to freeze it to liq N2 temperature and impact it with with a hammer or a spinning blade. Called cryopulverization, the method is fast and yields of proteins or nucleic acids are usually higher.
Tools to cryopulverize tissue...
The BioPulverizer quickly fragments hard frozen tissue samples into tiny pieces the size of grains of sand or course powder. The primary benefit of pulverizing pieces of tissue is to optimize subsequent rapid and complete cell lysis using lytic solutions or mechanical homogenizers. For difficult tissues such as tendon, skin, and tumors it is an essential step (see https://www.invitrogen.com/site/us/en/home/References/Ambion-Tech-Support/rna-isolation/tech-notes/isolation-of-total-rna-from-difficult-tissues.html). The BioPulverizer is also used at room temperature to fragment friable, dry biomaterial such as non-oily seeds, bone and teeth.
There are four different hand-operated BioPulverizers for quickly pulverizing 10 mg to 10 g of frozen tissue.
Cat. No. 59012N, BioPulverizer, capacity 10-100mg
Cat. No. 59013N, BioPulverizer, capacity 0.1-1g
Cat. No. 59014N, BioPulverizer, capacity 1-10g
Cat. No. 59012MS, MultiSample BioPulverizer, 12 wells, capacity 10-100mg per well*
*Twelve pestles are included with each 59012MS.
The BioSqueezer is used to "snap-freeze" (quickly freeze) 10-100 mg of soft animal and human tissue. Fresh tissue is compressed into a thin disc about the size of a small coin under pressure from a stainless steel clamp head that has been pre-cooled in liquid nitrogen or dry ice. Freezing occurs in a few milliseconds, thus offering a snapshot of metabolic events in the cells. The hard frozen disc is easily fragmented by hand or ground without thawing in a Cryo-Cup mortar and pestle for subsequent rapid extraction of labile nucleic acids, proteins and intracellular metabolite products.
The Cryo-Cup Grinder is a mortar and pestle specifically designed to pulverize and powder plant and animal tissue samples at liquid nitrogen temperatures. It gives superior results compared to conventional ceramic mortar-pestles.
Cat. No. 206, Cryo-cup Grinder, complete, includes two different size polypropylene pestle balls. See below for extra cups (mortars) and pestle balls.
Cat. No. 206C, Extra s.s. mortar with insulated cup. (Pestle not included)
Cat. No. 206PP138, Polypropylene ball, 1 3/8 inch dia.
Cat. No. 206PP178, Polypropylene ball, 1 7/8 inch dia.
Cat. No. 206SS138, Stainless steel ball, 1 3/8 inch dia.
Cat. No. 206SS178, Stainless steel ball, 1 7/8 inch dia.
The CryogenicTissueGrinder is a high speed blade mill that grinds 0.5-10 grams of plant, animal and human tissue with high water content to a fine powder in the presence of dry ice. The tissue becomes brittle at solid CO2 temperatures. A sample hit with a hammer (or in the case of the CTG111, a spinning blade) fragments tissue in seconds.
Cat. No. CTG111, 120 volts
Hand-operated device especially useful for crushing bone and tooth samples.